Petition for the UK CAA to recognise EASA issued licences issued until at least 31/12/2022

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The UK left the European Union Aviation Safety Agency on 31/12/2020 and as such this means that pilot licences which previously were interchangeable between EASA member states ceases to be the case.

The UK CAA has elected to allow easy conversion for non-UK EASA pilot licenses issued before 31/12/2020 and to recognise EASA training only, but not licences, until 31/12/2022. This one amelioration of accepting EASA training comes with very stringent restrictions that it is likely not useable for many student pilots.

This petition seeks to change this such that all EASA licences are convertible to UK licences if issued until at least 31/12/2022, in the same way as is planned for those issued pre-31/12/2020. This date has been selected as it is in-line with the UK CAA's recognition of EASA training, as well as providing a buffer period for licensing and job requirements etc. to be clarified given that the UK has left the EU and EASA. This buffer is particularly needed as clarity was not provided on the post-EASA landscape with sufficient notice for UK student pilots to make informed decisions on their professional future regarding training and licencing.

The principal rationale for this is simply one of fairness. The lack of information and clarity provided to British student pilots before 31/12/2020 and the heavy suggestions by all parties that the UK would allow EASA to UK conversion for a period post-31/12/2020 led many student pilots to pursue non-UK EASA licencing in place of UK licencing. Those pilots lucky enough to have finished training just before 31/12/2020 have a simple conversion process. Those who have yet to begin at least have clarity on the training path before them for UK or EASA licensing. Those student pilots who are part way through their training have been penalised for a quirk of timing which could not have been planned for.

Another reason to allow and facilitate dual UK-EASA licensing is that a UK CAA licence only will seriously hamper employment prospects of British pilots as some carriers require EASA licencing, even for UK based positions.

We therefore request that the UK CAA acts with compassion for its future pilots and extends convertibility of EASA issued licences until 31/12/2022 at the earliest.

UPDATE: Due to coronavirus and lockdowns in the UK, there have been exam after exam cancelled for the ATPL certificate. This has created a backlog of student pilots seeking to do exams that will be difficult to service. This is a further reason to allow those who have sat part of their exams with a non-UK EASA state to complete their exams with that state. Therefore not adding more demand on the UK exam system at a time when the backlog for exams is growing, especially as the UK and EASA exams are drawn from practically the same banks of questions.