Pilot Licence Conversion
From the 8th April 2018, glider pilots, motor glider pilots and tug pilots will need an EASA licence to fly an EASA aircraft. As described in a CAA Official Record Series exemption, until 7th April 2018 all the above pilots, including those who have converted to hold an EASA licence, can choose to operate as they always have done under national requirements, including BGA medical requirements. The BGA is continuing to use and train for the BGA gliding certificate and associated endorsements and ratings whilst supporting pilots through the conversion process ahead of April 2018.
It should be noted that if a pilot chooses to exercise his or her EASA licence privileges, he or she must of course comply with the relevant EASA licencing and medical requirements.
The BGA recommends not leaving licence conversion to the last minute. With limited CAA resources in place, a large volume of licence recommendations made to CAA in a short period will inevitably result in significant delays.
Supporting you through the licence conversion process
Glider and motor glider pilots are directly supported through the conversion process by the BGA. To ensure that all pilots will eventually have the correct sailplane licence, ratings and certificates, the BGA has agreed with the CAA that the BGA will handle the application and checking process and make recommendations for licence issue to the CAA under a Qualified Entity approval. Guidance is included in the BGA licence conversion application form and the BGA’s EASA licensing Frequently Asked Questions.EASA Licencing FAQ's
Aeroplane pilots who wish to convert their licence should refer to the CAA website. Touring motor gliders may be flown using a sailplane licence or an aeroplane licence where the TMG privilege is included. Guidance is included in the BGA’s EASA licensing Frequently Asked Questions.
Gliding licence conversion process – step by step
- Consider whether you need to obtain a medical or qualify further under the BGA system before converting.
- Decide what type of licence and additional qualifications you are going to apply for.
- Complete the application form using the guidance within the application form.
- Check that your application is complete, including certified and clearly readable copies of documents where required.
- Send your application to: BGA, 8 Merus Court, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1RJ
Adding a privilege to an SPL or LAPL(S) after the licence has been issued
During the conversion period, ie until 8th April 2018, it is possible to add a privilege to a previously issued SPL or LAPL(S) using the conversion criteria. The step by step process is;
- Consider which Part-FCL privilege you believe you want to add based on BGA/National privileges or other additional training
- Complete the application form using the form completion guidance document
- Check that your application is complete, including certified and clearly readable copies of documents where required
- Send your application to; BGA 8 Merus Court, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1RJ
Clearly the first port of call for any licence conversion queries is the information published on the website including the EASA licensing FAQs. Where that doesn’t provide the answer, the BGA office staff are always happy to help.
The BGA office deals with applications as soon as they arrive. The entire process from receipt of application to CAA issue and delivery can take anything from a couple of weeks for a straightforward application, to somewhat longer where the applicant is an examiner, in which case it gets a bit complicated at the CAA end.