COVID-19

This page will be used to keep all aspiring and qualified EASA / CAA pilots updated on changes to the regulations, courses and advice related to COVID-19:

Advice on what to do depending on your stage of training will be released daily via the Facebook and Instagram UKFlying pages. Follow for updates: 

This page is used to detail the UK CAA exemptions and extensions due to the second and third lockdowns. CAA exemptions from the first lockdown are listed below and details can be found on the CAA page here. The CAA COVID site can be found here

  • 21 Apr 21 - ORS4 No.1488 - Extension of Validity Periods of Theoretical Knowledge Examinations and Training Validity Periods.  The purpose of this exemption is to enable the extension of validity periods of theoretical knowledge examinations and training completed as part of training courses for pilot licences, ratings and certificates carried out in compliance with Part-FCL of the Aircrew Regulation.  The exemption may be viewed at here.

  • 19 Apr 21 - Class Rating revalidation requirements have been extended to 31 July 21. These don't extend your rating, but they detail what training, hours and landings are required. ORS4 1416 has been replaced by ORS4 1484 and 1418 has been replaced by 1485.

  • 3 Mar 21 - DfT Roadmap for leisure flying. Link here.

  • 12 Feb 21 - ORS4 1466 - CAA increases temporary licence certificates from 8-weeks to 6-months due to delays in licence processing. This ORS is valid until 31 May 21. ORS4 1466

  • 5 Feb 21 - CAA release Clued Up articles for pilots who are not flying due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

CAA - "While we understand that many pilots are currently unable to fly due to COVID-19 restrictions we aim to continue to release safety education and awareness material to support the GA community with the future return to flying and continue to help promote longer-term safety awareness."

Link to the CAA Clued Up articles is here.

  • 14 Jan 21 - ORS4 No.1464: Covid-19 - Outbreak: Extension of Validity Periods of Theoretical Knowledge Examinations and Training for the Issue of Licences and Type Ratings. Link here to the CAA document.

There are quite a a few extensions in 1464 so we suggest you open the document and read the applicable extensions carefully. They only apply if you can't satisfy the normal rules due to covid-19. In summary:

 Extensions are to 31 May 21 for the items below:

 - Theory exams 

 - the 6-month time period between the commencement of the type or class rating training course and the passing of the skill test

 - the 6-month time period between the passing of the skill test and the application for the issue of the class or type rating

The time period specified in any of the following, if validity ends between 16 March 2020 and 31 May 2021 inclusive:

 - MCC

 - Night Rating

 - Air Transport Pilot licence theory examinations that were due to expired at the 7-year point from the expiry of their Instrument Rating on or after 16 March 2020 in accordance with FCL.025(c)(2)(i), are extended until 31 May 2021.

  • 6 Jan 21 - Updated guidance for GA pilots during the national lockdown.

For General Aviation (GA), this means that no leisure flying is permitted.

Permitted GA activities

GA flying is permitted for the purposes of work, where it is not reasonably possible to work or provide those services at home. Social distancing measures must be in place and observed at all times.

Flying training organisations providing training for professional pilots, for the purposes of work, may continue to do so. Individuals undertaking such activity may continue to attend for these purposes. Social distancing measures must be in place and observed at all times.

Engine health and maintenance check flights can only take place where there is a critical safety requirement to do so, and alternative options are not available. Such flights, where conducted, must be kept to the minimum duration possible and should land at the same airfield from which they departed, except where this is outside the reasonable control of the pilot.

Whilst these national restrictions are in place, the guidance below is to help businesses that are permitted to continue operating to put measures in place to do that safely.

More details on the government site here.

  • 6 Jan 21 - CAA cancels exams.

In line with the recent government announcement of a National lockdown, along with the restrictions in Scotland, the UK CAA senior management team have concluded that all scheduled commercial examinations to be sat will be cancelled from next week until the end of February 2021.

  • 6 Jan 21 - AME advice for GA pilots from the CAA.

While we understand that many pilots are currently unable to fly due to COVID-19 restrictions we aim to continue to release safety education and awareness material to support the GA community with the future return to flying and continue to help promote longer-term safety awareness. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the re-imposition of a national COVID lockdown in England, the CAA COVID webpage has been updated, providing a link to the latest GOV.UK guidance for GA pilots. In addition, the CAA has updated  its advice to GA pilots on making appointments with Aviation Medical Examiners. 

Medical examinations with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) should only take place where there is an urgent need for a pilot to renew their medical certificate (for instance, if the pilot needs to continue flying for the purposes of work), and there are no alternative options available. 

For example, pilots may be able to maintain their medical currency using other mechanisms such as Pilot Medical Declarations (if they meet the required criteria), or through the extension of their current medical certificate under relevant Exemptions issued for that purpose by the CAA.

  • 22 Dec 20 - ORS4 1453 - CAA extension to the requirement to have your EASA licence issued by 1st Jan 21 if you are transferring away from the UK CAA. New EASA licence must now be issued before 31 Mar 21. With many aviation authorities in lockdown, this is welcome news. There is a CAA validation form to complete. Full details here.

  • 21 Dec - Government restrictions for Tier 1-4. Details what's allowed in each Tier for GA flying. Link here.

  • 3 Dec - ORS4 1446 - Extension of Validity Periods of Completed Theoretical Knowledge Examinations for the Issue of Licences and Type Ratings

This exemption applies to the validity periods of completed theoretical knowledge examinations that are due to expire on any date from 16 March 2020 to 31January 2021 inclusive.

  • 20 Nov - ORS4 1437 + ORS4 1438 released:

ORS4 1437 covers exemptions for helicopter pilots who operate under an AOC.

ORS4 1438 is for pilots and examiners who operate under an AOC.

AOC = Air Operators Certificate. This covers commercial operations, i.e Airlines, business jets, police helicopters.  

  • 12 Nov - Update from the CAA about further exemptions:

The CAA has issued a significant number of exemptions to help aviation cope with the impact of the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions. Currently, we don’t plan to issue any wide-ranging exemptions for the current lockdown when the current set end on 22 November.

Under the current lockdown restrictions the Department for Transport has confirmed that engine health and maintenance check flights and flights to maintain currency are allowed. These should only be conducted where there is an urgent requirement, and where alternative options are not available. We believe flying skills cannot be sustained in the long term by exemptions.

There are some elements of commercial aviation that are important to the response to COVID-19 which will be considered for exemptions. Consideration will also be given to those undergoing training towards commercial flying qualifications.

  • 4 Nov - Update from the government on GA aviation: 

Private pilots should not undertake any sport or leisure flying, in line with the requirement to stay at home without reasonable excuse.

General Aviation (GA) flying for the purposes of work, where it is not reasonably possible to work or provide those services at home, is permitted. Social distancing measures should be in place and observed at all times.

We recommend that flight training for private pilots not continue while the national restrictions are in place.

Flying training organisations providing training for professional pilots may continue to do so, and students undertaking such activity may continue to attend for these purposes. Social distancing measures should be in place and observed at all times.

Engine health and maintenance check flights and flights to maintain currency only, that would otherwise lapse during the planned lockdown period, should only be conducted where there is an urgent requirement to do so, and alternative options are not available.

Such flights, where conducted, must be kept to the minimum duration possible and should land at the same airfield from which they departed.

Source here.

  • 3 Sep - Further PPL and NPPL medical extensions.

  • 18 Jun - CAA have recommenced initial IR and CPL flight tests.

                       

  • 13 May - ORS4 No1386. Extension to the 6 month EASA rule to licence issue following a skills test: The exemption provides alleviation from the six-month time limit recently applied to the skills test or assessment of competence by the recent amendment to EU Legislation (that states the individual must apply for the licence, rating or certificate within 6 months from the date the skill test or assessment of competence was taken).

  • 29 Apr - CAP1913 released which details the CAA exemptions in an easy-to-read format. Click here for the guide.

  • 29 AprSuspension of all initial CPL and IR Test Bookings. This is from the CAA: In line with Government restrictions, all initial CPL and IR tests are currently cancelled. Whilst the lockdown period continues, no flight test bookings will be accepted by the CAA, as these are deemed to be non-essential activities. The CAA has a duty of care to the examiners who carry out these tests on its behalf, and we cannot guarantee their safety during these tests at this time. Once we are in a position to restart booking for CPL and IR tests, updated guidance will be published. It should be noted that appropriate extensions to the validity of recommendations have been or are being put into place.

  • 28 Apr - ORS4 No1384 and No 1385 replace No1367 and No1374 respectively. Only minor changes and a newly created CAA SRG1100F form has been added.

  • 15 Apr - ORS4 No1378 is a reissue of ORS4 No1376 (below).

  • 17 Apr - GA flights for maintenance checks, ferry, and engine health under COVID-19. These are now allowed but there are strict rules which can be found on the CAA website.

  • 9 Apr - ORS4 No1376 is very similar to No1374 detailed below but is for holders of UK Flight Crew Licences (Not EASA). Extensions are possible to 22 Nov 20 if your rating expires between 16 Mar 20 and 31 Oct 20. 

  • 7 Apr - This is a big list of extensions for a variety of ratings and licences for people who don't work under Part-ORO as mentioned in previous exemptions. Read it carefully as there might be actions to keep your licence current, like receiving a remote brief from an instructor/examiner. ORS4 No 1374 (now No1385): This exemption deals with the extension of validity and other time periods for EASA licences, ratings, privileges, endorsements and certificates of aeroplane and helicopter pilots, instructors and examiners.

  • 3 Apr - ORS4 No.1370: Exemption from the Requirement for Holders of Part-FCL Private Pilot Licences and Light Aircraft Pilot Licences to hold an EASA Part-MED Medical Certificate when Operating EASA Aircraft. This 7-month exemption is granted to allow UK EASA PPL (H&A) and LAPL (H&A) holder to continue to operate UK EASA aircraft having made a medical self-declaration in order to reduce demand on the AMEs during the on-going COVID-19 outbreak. Read the text carefully and requires action by 8th April 2020.

  • 1 Apr - Department for Transport (UK) have advised against recreational General Aviation (GA) flying due to government advice. There is no formal ban unlike other European countries.

  • 24 Mar - More licence validity extensions, but only if you operate under Part-ORO. This doesn't cover PPL or CPL holders who don't work for an airline or commercial aviation company (doesn't include flying schools). 

  • 24 Mar - Almost all aviation training schools and support companies are now closed. Some flying schools are now providing ground school via video link.

  • 20 Mar - As a consequence of the severity of the current COVID-19 outbreak and its impact worldwide, the CAA has decided to delay the implementation of its recently proposed charge increases for three months to assist the UK aviation industry in these difficult times.

  • 19 Mar - Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Theoretical Knowledge Examination (apply for an extra 6-month extension) Completion Period as required by Commission Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 as amended.

  • 19 Mar - ORS4 No.1352: Part 147 Exemption for Basic Training Schools against the 90% Attendance Requirement.

  • 18 Mar - Multiple UK flying school temporary closures. 

  • 16 Mar - If you work for an airline or business jet company then you might be able to extend the validity of your licence. ORS4 No.1350: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Licence Proficiency Checks as required by Commission Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 as amende.

  • 18 Mar - CAA Exam centre closures and restrictions. Follow the link and click 'Exam.

  • 16 Mar - If you work for an airline or business jet company then you might be able to extend the validity of your licence. ORS4 No.1351: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Operator's Proficiency Checks as required by Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012.

  • 16 Mar - Many European flying schools and academies are closed. This includes all schools in France and Spain. This includes many of the fair-weather training bases for UK schools.

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