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CAA announces new pilot licensing process

by Wendy Pursey Head of Membership and Career Services

From early December, professional pilots will be able to make UK licence applications via an online CAA ‘e-licensing’ system, and then track its progress through a personal portal account. In addition, pilots who need to apply in person at the CAA’s Gatwick HQ will be able to book dedicated time slots. e-Licensing will go live in early December 2017 for commercial pilots, with a service for private licence applications due to follow in 2018.

As well as the introduction of the e-licensing portal, a new fast-track counter service appointment booking service will be available from 11th December replacing the current same-day counter service. The new service will allow licence holders to book an appointment time-slot up to one month in advance and, subject to availability, up to 15.00 the day before an appointment is needed. Appointments for this service can be made from 27th November 2017 via a dedicated phone line (0330 022 1922, 08.30-16.30 Monday to Friday). This optional fast-track appointment service will be available to all pilots at a cost of £100.  The fast-track charge is in addition to the application fee. Applicants who do not wish to pay for a fast-track service can still choose to apply to have their licence issued by post, which the CAA says takes around 10 working days at no additional cost.

Separate appointments will also be available for applicants who require support, or a ‘checking’ service, for an application being delivered to the CAA in person. These appointments must be pre-booked using the same process as a fast-track service and will be charged at £25 per appointment. The CAA say that it is unable to answer specific licensing queries via this service; such requests should be emailed to fclweb@caa.co.uk. 

Once the new service is in place, licence holders who require a same-day service or who have an application support enquiry will need to book an appointment.  Applicants without an appointment visiting the CAA’s Aviation House may still be able to secure an appointment for that day, but this will be subject to availability and will be charged at a an increased fee of £200 for a licence application or £50 for application support.

Applications available for fast-track appointments apply to the following:

•    Conversion to EASA licences from UK/JAR licences
•    Addition of a type or class rating to a flight crew licence
•    Renewal of a type or class rating to a flight crew licence
•    Removal of a restriction from a flight crew licence
•    Revalidation or renewal of a flight crew licence
•    Change of address
•    Addition of a night rating
•    Addition of an instructor rating
•    Addition of instrument rating (not including the competency based route)
•    Removal of restrictions from the instructor rating
•    Replacement licence