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Proposal in the UK to create local licenses for domestic air operations

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a consultation on the simplification and streamlining of General Aviation pilot licences, the aim of which is to make accreditation and training processes simpler. Through draft proposals, the creation of a single set of Private Pilot Licenses (PPL) for airplanes and helicopters that meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and another set that do not meet international standards were included. "Such 'sub-ICAO' licenses will be designed for flights in UK airspace only and are subject to certain limitations, but would make it easier for prospective pilots to obtain a licence," the UK aviation agency said in a statement. He explained that the sub-ICAO license could use operational limitations taken from the current ultralight aircraft community and later allow for the phasing out of those limitations as well as sub-ICAO status. He added that an approach would also be developed for gliders and balloons, including a license for commercial operations of hot air balloons carrying passengers, which are an important element of hot air ballooning in the UK. “This project is a unique opportunity to simplify, streamline and re-examine the general aviation licensing regime. We have worked closely with and listened to the community and thank you for your continued involvement. We also want to continue to listen to your views so that we do well. We encourage all stakeholders to engage and participate in this consultation,” said Michael MacDonald, co-director of the CAA's General Aviation and RPAS Unit. He added that a collaborative approach was taken to ensure fair reflection of the views of the wider aviation community. “We established a working group of key experts, including aviation associations, as well as flight instructors and PPL students. The consultation will be open for eight weeks and will close at midnight on Friday, December 16, 2022.

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