Following publication of a Statutory Instrument to amend retained EU regulation regarding sailplane pilot licensing, pilots who do not hold a Sailplane Pilot Licence (SPL)* must convert their current BGA pilot qualification to a UK Part-SFCL Sailplane Pilot Licence (SPL) to legally fly as Pilot in Command of Part 21 sailplanes (including self-launching sailplanes and TMGs) after 30th September 2025.
Over 2000 SPLs have been issued to date. Because of the number of applications yet to be made, those that leave converting until the last minute are likely to experience delays in getting their licence issued by the CAA. Clearly that could result in potential disruption to planned autumn flying.
Some pilots have noted the potential impact of the CAA’s General Aviation Pilot Licensing & Training Simplification project. The CAA has confirmed that the SFCL regulation will not be overturned – the SPL will be retained in its current form. The licence simplification project is looking at ways to make it easier for future pilots to gain and maintain an SPL. The core SPL will not be changed, nor will the process to convert from a BGA pilot qualification. Pilots who are currently eligible to convert should do so on the assurance that the licence they receive will not be changed radically for the foreseeable future.
BGA advice is that pilots should convert early to avoid delays to licence issue. If pilots are too busy to apply now, this coming autumn and winter will be a great opportunity to beat any future rush. We look forward to receiving and processing your application.
*Please note that a UK issued EASA Part-FCL SPL or LAPL(S) is deemed to be a UK Part-SFCL SPL.