Copyright Flyer magazine
copyright Peter Harvey


Q Can a EASA Flight Instructor with the privilege to instruct for the LAPL(A) instruct for the NPPL?

A Yes, an EASA Flight Instructor without CPL theoretical knowledge who has the privilege to instruct for issue of a LAPL(A) with SEP privileges may conduct ground and flight training for students towards the issue of a NPPL with SSEA privileges. A letter for the CFI at an Approved Training Organisation or Registered Facility is available here.

Q: “Is flying training from a QUI at a UAS permissible as credit towards the issue of a NPPL?

A: “The RAF now uses ‘Qualified University Air Squadron Instructors’ (QUI) at UASs, who are qualified to instruct at up to pre-first solo level only and also to deliver aerobatic instruction. For the purposes of NPPL flying training credit in paragraph,, or of the NPPL cross-crediting document (also found in CAP 804 Section 5 Part A Appendix 1), full accreditation towards the issue of a NPPL shall also include QUI-delivered flight instruction."

Simple Single Engine Aircraft

Q What is a SSEA?
A According to the ANO Schedule 1, for licensing purposes, a “SSEA” means a simple single engine aeroplane, being a single engine piston aeroplane with a maximum take-off weight authorised of not more than 2,000kg and which is not a microlight aeroplane or a SLMG.

Q How many hours of training are there in the NPPL(SSEA) course?
A The course consists of a minimum of 32 hours plus tests.

Q Where can I do the course?
A At any flying club which is a Declared or Approved Training Organisation under EASA rules (DOT or ATO)

Q Who can instruct me for the NPPL(SSEA), and are there any special NPPL instructors?
A Any EASA Flight Instructor with SEP privileges can conduct your training, and, no, there are no special NPPL instructors.

Q When I have completed my training and tests successfully, how much does the licence issue cost?
A £165

Q How long is the licence valid for?
A For life, subject to the revalidation requirements of the class rating entered in the licence.

Q Do I need a EASA medical?
A No, you can make a CAA Pilot Medical Declaration. This can be completed online via the CAA website. You can also use an EASA PAR-MED Class 1, Class 2 or LAPL medical certificate.

Q Can I get credit for previous flying experience?
A Yes, see the document detailing the allowances that may be given for training (the cross-crediting document) on this website.

Q What about aircraft with variable pitch/constant speed propellers or retractable undercarriage?
A As long as the aircraft weight does not exceed 2000 kg, you can undertake differences training which qualifies you to fly more complex single engine types.

Q Can I fly a microlight using a NPPL with SSEA class rating by completing microlight differences training with an instructor?
A Pilots holding a  UK NPPL with SSEA class rating must obtain a microlight class rating before acting as PIC in microlights accordance with the UK Air Navigation Order (ANO) and the 'Allowances against training' document found on this website. Differences training for microlights is applicable to the SEP class rating entered in EASA and UK PPLs, not the SSEA class rating.

Q Can I be examined on a NPPL skills test by my own flight instructor?
A Yes, but good practice suggests that Skills Tests should be examined whenever possible by someone other than the instructor who has conducted the bulk of your training.

Q On the NPPL Application Form, who has to fill in Box 9 and why?
A This box must be completed by the CFI at the flying club or organisation where you undertook the training. This allows your details to be independently verified by an authority known to the UK CAA.

Q If I apply for more than one rating on the one application, do I have to pay more?
A No, the application fee is the same, regardless of the number of ratings applied for at the same time.

Q How long will it be after sending in the forms for me to receive my licence?
A Anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks.

Q Can I elect to change, during the course, from the NPPL SSEA course to an EASA LAPL(A) or EASA PPL(A) course?
A Following discussion with other Member States, CAA have confirmed that it is not possible to change course to an EASA LAPL or PPL and obtain credit for training from an incomplete NPPL course.

Q Can I upgrade to a EASA LAPL or PPL?
A You can convert a NPPL which was issued before 8th April 2018 directly to an EASA PART-FCL LAPL (A) by submitting an application to the UK CAA. In order to convert to a PPL further training is required. Full details of agreed conversion requirements are contained in CAP 804, Section 4, Part P. However, a NPPL issued after 8th April 2018 cannot be upgraded. It may be possible to use some of the experience gained towards the minimum hours requirements.

Q Can I hold a EASA licence and a NPPL simultaneously?
A Yes.

Q I need medical advice; where can I get it from?
A The CAA provide information on their website about the CAA Pilot Medical Declaration. Additional information can be found in CAP 1441.

Q Do I have to send my Pilot Medical Declaration anywhere after I have had it renewed?
A No.

Q How many hours each year do I need in order to keep my NPPL current?
A All NPPLs remain valid for the lifetime of the holder. They can only be used, however, if they contain a valid Class Rating (SLMG/SSEA/Microlight). Full details for keeping a Class Rating valid are in CAP 804 and also in Schedule 8, Part 3 of CAP393: Air Navigation: The Order and Regulations.

All Class Ratings on NPPLs have a 24 month validity period.  In this period, a total of at least 12 hours flight time, including 8 hours as PIC must be completed in order to revalidate by experience.
 1.        Holder of a licence with one class rating (SSEA or SLMG or Microlight):
Complete on the class of aeroplanes held:
(a)        within the period of validity of the rating have flown as pilot:
•           at least 12 hours flight time including 8 hours PIC.
•           at least 12 take-offs and landings.
•           at least 1 hour of flight training with an instructor.  If this flight time has not been completed, the rating will be endorsed ‘Single seat only’.
(b)        Within the 12 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, have flown as pilot:
•           at least 6 hours flight time.
2.         Holder of a licence with 2 or 3 ratings (SSEA/SLMG/Microlight):
(a)        Within the period of validity of the rating on any of the classes of aeroplanes held, have flown as pilot:
•           at least a total of 12 hours including 8 hours PIC
•           at least 12 take-offs and landings
•           at least 1 hour of flight training with an instructor.  If this flight time has not been completed all ratings will be endorsed ‘Single seat only’.
(b)        Within the 12 months preceding the expiry date of the ratings held have flown, as pilot on any of the class ratings held:

•           at least 6 hours flight time.
(c)        Within the period of validity of each class rating held, have flown as pilot:
at least 1 hour PIC on each class held;
undertaken at least 1 hour of flying training on each class held with an instructor entitled to give instruction on aeroplanes of those classes.
If (c) has not been fully completed, you will be required to renew the relevant Class Rating(s) by GST.

Note that the SSEA 'Single seat only' endorsement above provides privileges in single seat aircraft only such as a Jodel D9 or Taylor Monoplane and not solo flight in aircraft with more than one seat

Q I'm an examiner and have been asked to revalidate a SSEA class rating in a NPPL. What paperwork should I complete?

A You should sign the applicant's Certificate of Revalidation in the normal way, but do not need to submit any paperwork to the LAA. However, you should keep a record of the applicant's name, licence number, and date, for those licences you have signed. See CAA Flight Examiner's Handbook, Table N2B for more information.

Q How can I revalidate a Class Rating that is no longer valid?
A Ratings that have not been revalidated before their expiry date cannot be revalidated after it. Instead, the rating can be renewed by a General Skills Test with an examiner. If expired bymore than 5 years, that Test includes an oral theoretical knowledge examination.

Q Does my ATPL (including expired) entitle me to grandfather rights for the NPPL?
A No, the NPPL is a separate stand-alone licence.

Q Can I assume grandfather rights for differences training, e.g. for a tail-dragger, obtained under my EASA licence?
A Yes, this will have been recorded in your personal flying logbook, and counts regardless.

Q Can I fly in the Channel Islands with a NPPL?
A NPPL (SSEA) holders may now fly to the Channel Islands, subject to minor additional requirements. You may also now fly to the Isle of Man with prior clearance from their Aviation Authority.

Q Can I fly my 'N' registered aircraft on my NPPL?
A Yes, because the FAA have confirmed that 14 CFR 61.3 permits the holder of a UK-issued sub-ICAO licence, such as the NPPL or LAPL, to operate a US (N) registered aircraft within the UK.

Self Launching Motor Glider

For revalidation and renewal of SLMG ratings see details in the SSEA section above

Q What happened to the UK SLMG PPL?
A The NPPL SLMG Rating has replaced it.

Q Do I have to replace my old UK SLMG PPL with an NPPL SLMG Rating?
A No. A UK SLMG PPL remains valid providing the medical and licensing validity requirements are met.

Q Where can I train for the NPPL SLMG?
A There are a number of BGA sites approved for training. Contact the BGA office 0116 2531051

Q How do I keep my NPPL SLMG valid?
A See CAP 804 or Schedule 8 of the Air Navigation Order.

Q What allowances do I get for gliding?
A See cross crediting document.

Q My licence has lapsed. How do I get an NPPL?
A See cross crediting document.

Q What are the medical requirements?
A See medical menu.

Q How do I get the relevant forms?
A Download from this website, or from the BGA office 0116 253 1051

Q Can I fly a UK registered SLMG outside the UK with an NPPL SLMG rating?
A Yes, providing that your NPPL SLMG rating is ICAO compliant.  Ever since the NPPL SLMG was introduced, holders of the NPPL SLMG rating who wish to fly UK registered SLMG's outside the UK have been able to apply to have their licence endorsed as ICAO compliant providing they have an EASA Class 2 or Class 1 medical certificate and can demonstrate the ICAO required 40 hours of experience. 

Please apply directly to CAA Personnel Licensing at CAA by writing a letter explaining that you would like your NPPL SLMG endorsed as ICAO compliant. You will need to supply a copy of your licence, evidence of 40 hours experience including the NPPL SLMG training course, a copy of your EASA  Class 1 or 2 medical and payment.



Q Has the microlight training minimum hours requirement changed from 25 hours to 32 hours in line with the other NPPL ratings?
A No, the minimum hours training requirement for the NPPL Microlight rating is still 25 hours and the training syllabus remains the same.

Q Can holders of the NPPL with Microlight rating fly abroad like holders of the pre - NPPL Microlight Licence?
A The NPPL is a day only UK VFR licence and confers no automatic rights to fly abroad. However the UK PPL (A) Microlight was a sub-ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) Licence which also conferred no automatic rights to fly abroad. While the French have given a blanket exemption that allows UK microlight pilots to fly in France provided certain conditions are met, (see the BMAA Website at for details), all other countries require you to obtain permission in advance.

Q What do I need to do to fly microlights on my light aircraft licence?
A You may fly microlights using your CAA national or EASA PPL (A) if you have a current SEP rating. You are required to complete differences training with an instructor. You may use hours flown in a microlight aircraft “which matches the definition and criteria of the respective Part-FCL aircraft category and class” to revalidate a SEP rating, but the instructional flights also required for revalidation must be flown in SEP.

If your SEP rating lapses and you wish to continue to fly microlights you should apply for a NPPL with a microlight class rating attached. The requirements are given in the cross credit document on this site.

The SSEA and SLMG Class Ratings do not entitle the holder to fly microlights. If you only hold a NPPL with a SSEA or SLMG Class Rating you must add a Microlight Class Rating if you want to fly microlights. Hours flown in any Class can be used towards maintaining other NPPL Class Ratings.

Q Do I have to be issued with a NPPL or can I still have the old style Microlight Licence?
A The NPPL with Microlight rating has replaced the old "stand alone" Microlight Licence, which is no longer issued. There are advantages to holding a NPPL, chiefly the ability to add a Simple Single Engine Aircraft and/or Self-Launching Motorglider class ratings by following the cross-crediting arrangements. These can be viewed on this website and downloaded to your PC for printing. Click on the tab "Licence Allowances".


David Cockburn
Head of Training
Light Aircraft Association

Updated January 2020