UK CAA Statement on Mutual Recognition of ATPL Exams

28th November 2020   
UK CAA Statement on Mutual Recognition of ATPL Exams

Brexit Statement from the Head of Flight Operations, UK CAA (27 Nov 20)

Recognition of ATPL Exam passes taken with another EASA NAA

EU aviation will be brought across into UK law under the Withdrawal Act.  Where there are deficiencies in EU law, Statutory Instruments (SI) have been introduced to make the legislation operable in the UK.  Under the SI it was determined that certificates, and this includes examination pass certificates, issued and in force on or after the exit date will continue to be recognised for the remainder of their validity period up to a maximum of 2 years.  We have not reversed our previous assurance and will accept all EASA ATPL exam passes as valid for a UK National Licence after the transition period for the remainder of their validity or 2 years whichever is the sooner.  Under the SI it was determined that certificates, and this includes examination pass certificates, issued and in force on or after the exit date will continue to be recognised for the remainder of their validity period up to a maximum of 2 years. 

So, any exams completed under an EU MS before 1st January 2021 will still be recognised by the UK for up to 2 years, depending on their validity, which for exams is 36 months for a professional licence.

Any exams completed under an EU MS after 31st December 2020 will not be recognised by the UK.

Any student who has started their exams with an EU MS but wants to end up with a UK licence will need to complete any outstanding exams on 1st January 2021 with the UK, the EU exams completed prior to that date will be accepted by us as stated.  The SI permits the CAA to accept EU licences, approvals and certificates “as if they were issued by the UK”, subject to them being issued and valid prior to 31 December 2020, consequently any TK exam result ‘certificates’ issued by an EU MS before 31 Dec 2020 can be included within the provision of the SI.

For applicants seeking an EU licence from 1 January 2021 using TK exams partially completed in the UK, the EU will require them to take all 13 exams as we will then be a third country, as you will note the EU are not reciprocating this acceptance. 

Should a student attain an EASA licence after 31st December 2020 they will not be able to operate G-reg aircraft and would need to obtain a UK national licence. A pilot holding an EASA licence on 31st December 2020 will be able to operate G-reg aircraft for 2 years under the general validation that will be issued, after that period they will need a UK national licence issued.