Exemption for Holders of FAA Pilot Licences - UPDATE To prevent being Grounded!

If you are flying on an FAA Pilot Licence you should be aware that to make use of this exemption you need to have completed the actions required by 7 April 2017 or risk being grounded. The CAA additonally published Information Notice 2017/013 late yesterday.

Pilots affected need to make a declaration using the forms which will be available on the CAA website early this afternoon. Pilots can then fly back to UK and arrange the examiner check once back. The CAA have advsied that there is no need to satisfy condition e) of the IN before flying back.

IN 2017/013 now contains the links to the relevant forms and have clarified condition e), which reads:

"Demonstrate to a Part-FCL examiner that they have an acquired theoretical knowledge of Part-FCL ‘Air law and ATC procedures’ at a level appropriate to the privileges of the licence and ratings privileges they intend to exercise."

ORS4 1221 has now been published s further clarification.

The CAA Press Office have released this statement:

FAA licence holders based in the UK need to self-declare that they comply with European requirements


  • Other third country licence holders are required to validate their licence and begin conversion process to an EASA licence
  • Pilots overseas who are yet to comply with these requirements can fly to the UK under a general exemption until Saturday 15 April

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today advised pilots holding ‘third country’ private pilot licences (PPL) who are yet to convert their licenses to meet European regulations of the steps they must take in order to continue to fly in the UK after 8 April 2017, following a decision by the Department for Transport. Third country licences are those issued by non-European countries, such as the United States, Canada and Australia.
A pilot with a third country PPL who flies for more than 28 days per calendar year in the UK needs to comply with the terms of Europe’s Part-FCL, Annex III. This will require the pilot to validate or convert their licence to an equivalent issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).  Upon completion of the relevant form, pilots can obtain a validation for up to 24 months, which will allow them to continue flying while they arrange for conversion to an EASA PPL.
Under the terms of a pending bilateral agreement between the United States and the UK, holders of a licence issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will be able to continue flying using their FAA licences provided that they meet certain requirements.  The UK has put an exemption in place allowing the continued use of FAA PPLs until the bilateral has been finalised.  In order to continue flying, holders of FAA licences must complete form SRG2140 and submit it to the CAA prior to their next flight.  However, affected pilots who are out of the UK this weekend (8/9 April 2017) do not need to take any action ahead of the 8 April 2017 implementation date. Under a general exemption implemented by the CAA, pilots will be allowed to complete these requirements on their return home, providing they have returned by Saturday 15 April 2017.
All other third country licence holders should aim to validate their licences at the earliest opportunity and complete form SRG 2141 or SRG 2139 prior to their next flight.

Original Post:

The CAA have published Official Record Series (ORS) 4 1220 which details the exemption from the Requirement for Holders of FAA Pilot Licences exercising Private Licence Privileges to Comply with the Conversion and Validation Requirements of Annex III to Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 as Amended until 8 April 2019, unless revoked prior to this date or it is superseded by any bi-lateral agreement with the USA.

ORS4 1220 states:

1) The  Civil  Aviation  Authority  (‘the  CAA’), on behalf of the United Kingdom and pursuant to article 14(4) of Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008 exempts all holders of FAA pilot licences operating aircraft subject to Article 4(1)(b) or (c) of that Regulation from the requirements of Annex III (A) paragraphs 1, 2, 4  and 5 to Regulation (EU) No.1178/2011, subject to the conditions stated at paragraph 2 and the terms stated at paragraph 3.

2) This exemption precludes the need for the holders of FAA certificates exercising private licence privileges to complete UK Part-FCL  conversion or validation of  their certificates in accordance with Regulation (EU) No.1178/2011, Annex III, as above, subject to the conditions stated at Annex 1 (which is at Appendix 1 of this document). These conditions reflect requirements that are expected to apply following conclusion of the bi-lateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) currently under negotiation between the EU and the USA.

3) This exemption is effective from 8 April 2017until 8 April 2019 or until superseded by any BASA concluded between the EU and the USA in the interim, unless revoked prior.

S P Baugh

for the Civil Aviation Authority

05 April 2017

Explanatory Note:

Whilst the BASA between the EU and the USA remains under negotiation, this exemption enables FAA pilot licence holders wishing to exercise private licence privileges to continue to operate in UK airspace without the need to comply with the full validation and conversion requirements stated in Annex III to Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 (The Aircrew Regulation). This will be subject to such licence holders satisfying criteria intended to provide the safety mitigation required by the use of exemptions under article 14(4) of Regulation (EU) 216/2008 (The Basic Regulation). The criteria used represent some of those contained in the terms of the draft proposed BASA and have been selected in order to ensure that the requirements both anticipate likely future requirements and may not be considered unduly onerous.

Appendix 1
Annex 1: FAA Exemption conditions

Text extracted from the draft BASA document

2.1 Conditions to be satisfied by holders of FAA pilot licences seeking to operate under the general exemption from the need to comply with Annex III of Regulation  (EU) 1178/2011 validation and conversion requirements.

2.1.1 Language proficiency

(a) An applicant must demonstrate or provide evidence that he/she has acquired language proficiency in accordance with  FCL.055 unless the  applicant holds an ‘English  proficient’  endorsement on his/her   FAA   pilot   certificate.  The ‘English proficient’ endorsement is deemed to be equal to English language proficiency level 4 according to Part-FCL.
(b) If the applicant wishes to have English language proficiency level 5 or 6 endorsed on his/her licence under  Part-FCL,  he/she needs to follow the method of language assessment established by the EU NAA in accordance with FCL.055.

2.1.2 Medical fitness

(a) The applicant shall  either  have a valid FAA Class 2 aircrew medical or meet the relevant EU medical  requirements as stipulated in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011for the privileges  sought by the applicant and obtain a European medical certificate.  The medical certificate must be at least Class 2 and appropriate to the licence and ratings held.

2.1.3 Theoretical knowledge

The applicant must demonstrate to a Part-FCL examiner that he/she has acquired theoretical knowledge of Part-FCL ‘Air law and ATC procedures’ at a level appropriate to the privileges of the licence and ratings privileges they intend to exercise.

2.1.4 Licence Confirmation

(a) Upon receiving an application from an FAA certificate holder, the UK CAA must request and receive a licence confirmation from the FAA to ensure that the FAA licence is authentic, valid, and that there is no current investigation of the airman’s certificate, nor suspension or revocation of the certificate.  The request will be sent to Civil Aviation Registry (AFS-700).
(b) The applicant must provide proof of the existing FAA licence (or photocopy) to the UK CAA.

2.1.5 Verifying FAA pilot currency

(a) The applicant will provide a logbook(s) or other written documentation to the UK CAA to demonstrate his/her currency for the FAA pilot certificate which is held.
(b) If necessary, the UK CAA may delegate the task of confirmation of pilot currency.  In such cases the applicant is to be informed of the procedure to be followed. 
(c) If unable to verify an applicant’s currency through the documentation that is provided by the applicant, the UK CAA may consult FAA’s General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS- 800) via email or by phone.
(d) All FAA pilots are considered to have fulfilled U.S. currency requirements for a pilot certificate if the terms of 14 CFR §61.56  have  been  met. The documentation that will typically be provided will be one or multiple documents consisting of the following:

(i) A pilot logbook endorsement;
(ii) An FAA pilot certificate with a date of initial issuance within the previous 24 calendar months;
(iii) An FAA flight instructor certificate with a date of issuance (Block X on the pilot certificate) within the previous 24 calendar months (utilized for meeting the ground requirement only);
(iv) An employment record of an active FAA air carrier pilot;
(v) A record of a pilot proficiency check or practical test conducted by the U.S. Armed Forces for a certificate, rating or operational privilege. If needed, verification of such documentation may be obtained by contacting AFS-800.  
(vi) An employment record of an inactive FAA air carrier pilot within the previous 24 calendar months; or
(vii) A document stating that the applicant has satisfactorily accomplished one or more phases of an FAA-sponsored pilot proficiency award program (the FAA WINGS program) within the previous 24 calendar months.

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