Converting an ICAO, Military or Rotary Pilot's Licence

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Please read our News page for important changes to the conversion rules from April 2014


Converting an ICAO, Military or Rotary Pilot's Licence


Requirements for the conversion of existing licenses and ratings can be complex with frequent changes of the rules. PAT can help by providing the most up-to-date information and the best advice on how to proceed.

Conversion of a non-EASA CPL/IR or ATPL

The rules have changed since the implementation of EASA. Information is provided in CAP804, Section 4, Part Q. 

Unless you have more than 50 hours PIC IFR, the conversion guidelines are as follows:


Although EASA states that all training requirements have to be assessed by the Head of Training of an ATO and submitted to the CAA for approval, the UK CAA have determined some conversion 'rules'. These were published in Information Notice IN 2013-134. For your information, theses are detailed in the relevant sections below.

In order to benefit from the reduced training requirements, both your CPL and your IR have to be current and valid.


In order to get your licence/rating issued in the UK the State of Licence issue of your medical must be the UK.

For further information have a look at

R/T Licence:

An EASA R/T licence, issued by the UK CAA is required. The test can be done in-house by one of our resident R/T examiners.

English Language Proficiency:

An English Langage Proficiency grade of 4, 5 or 6 is required in order to get your licence/rating issued.  This must be issued by the UK CAA.  Certificates issued by other countries, including other EASA states, are not acceptable.

Assessment of your standard of English can be done during your R/T test (if required), or by your CPL or IR examiner, provided you are assessed at level 6 (expert).  If you are not assessed at level 6, you will have to take a test at an English Language for Aviaton Assessment organisation which has been approved by the UK CAA.  We can provide details of such an organisation in Bournemouth.

Ground School:

You will need to undertake a theoretical knowledge course by distance learning, or by full-time ground school, and pass a number of exams.  Three levels of ground exams exist, CPL (13 exams), ATPL (14 exams) and IR (7 exams).  If you wish to obtain a PPL/IR you only need to undertake the IR exams.  If you do not wish to fly for an airline, but wish to have remuneration for your flying, you will need to undertake the CPL exams.  If you wish to fly for an airline you will need to undertake the ATPL exams.

All of the exams must be passed before you undertake the associated flight tests.


If you have more than 1500 hours including 500 hours multi-pilot time, and have access to a multi-pilot aircraft for which you hold a valid type rating, you simply have to pass an ATPL skill test. For further information about this we suggest you contact the CAA on one of the numbers given below. If you do not have the above experience, you have to do training for the CPL and IR skill tests. This will give you a CPL/IR (known as a 'frozen' ATPL) which you can convert to a full ATPL when you have the necessary experience.  All of the exams must be passed before you do your CPL or IR skills test.

Multi-Engine Piston Class Rating:

You will need to convert your non-EASA multi rating to an EASA one. If you have more than 100 hours multi engine piston experience, are in current flying practice, and your multi rating is still current and valid, there is no training or testing requirement.

Otherwise, flight training is as determined by the ATO and approved by the CAA. If you do your CPL skill test in a multi engined aircraft you will do the MEP class rating test at the same time. If you do not, you will have to do a separate in-house MEP class rating test. If you have less than 100 hours on multi engine piston aircraft you will also have to do an in-house, 40 question written exam.


Minimum training hours have been defined by the UK CAA (IN 2013-134) depending upon your total hours experience as a pilot.  These are:


Level 1                  Experience > 1000 hours              Minimum 7 hours

Level 2                  Experience 500 - 999 hours          Minimum 10 hours

Level 3                  Experience 250 - 499 hours          Minimum 15 hours

Level 4                  Experience 185 - 249 hours          Minimum 20 hours

Level 5                  Experience 155 - 184 hours          Minimum 25 hours


In order to benefit from the reduced course (see below) to convert your IR, your ICAO IR has to be current and valid. If it is not, then you will have to do the full course although if, during the course, the Head of Training is prepared to state in writing that completion of the FULL course is unwarranted and he recommends a reduction, the CAA will give this recommendation consideration.

The UK CAA has determined (IN 2013-134) that, if the ATO's Head of Training assesses that you will need 15 hour training to convert your IR, there is NO requirement to submit that assessment to the CAA for approval.

Our IR conversion course therefore consists of 15 hours FNPT 2 simulator and 5 hours flight training including the 170A test, followed by the test with the CAA staff examiner.

This course is intended for pilots with significant experience, e.g. greater than the 200 hour FAA CPL/IR holder. Our experience tells us that it is highly likely that the 200 hour CPL/IR holder will require more training than the minimum 15 hour course.

Military Fast Jet and Transport Pilots

Since EASA has been implemented in Europe the rules for military to civilian conversions have changed.

Information on the new rules is given in Part O, Section 4 of CAP804 available on the CAA website at 804.pdf  Please contact Linda Mollison to discuss further.

Conversion of a Rotary Licence

You will need an EASA Class One Medical.

You will need to do ground exams as defined under Ground School above.

The flying training required differs depending upon whether you have an IR(H), and whether it is non-EASA or EASA IR.

If you do not have an IR(H), you will be required to complete a full approved EASA CPL course, a full approved EASA Multi-Engine Piston Rating and a full approved EASA IR course (see CPL, MEP and IR courses elsewhere on this website for further information).

If you have a non-EASA IR(H) you will get 5 hours dispensation from the CPL course, and you will have to complete a 25 hour IR course of which 5 hours can be logged in a FNPTI simulator, or 10 hours in an FNPTII simulator.

If you have a EASA IR(H), you will get 5 hours dispensation from the EASA CPL course and you will have to complete a minimum of 10 hours EASA IR flight training.

CAA Contact Numbers

Tel: +44 (0) 1293 573700
Fax: +44 (0) 1293 573996
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.