The dilemma: UKCAA and EASA after Brexit
Since the UK left the EU back in January 2020 a question often asked by aspiring pilots is: ‘should I train for a UKCAA or an EASA licence?’
It’s a fair question and one that can be difficult to answer as it depends on the individual’s circumstances:
1. Where do you have the right to live and work?
This is usually determined by where you were born (your nationality) or where you have permanent residence (your citizenship).
2. Where do you want to be based during your career?
If you want to live and work outside of your country/area of nationality or citizenship you will need to be able to obtain a work visa. If you see yourself living in the UK for long-term then the UKCAA licence could be the one for you, whereas if you are living in an EU country you could opt for the EASA licence.
3. What airlines do you aspire to fly for?
If you aim to fly for a UK based or registered airline such as easyJet or British Airways, you would need a UKCAA issued licence; conversely, if you wish to fly for an airline which operates from or is registered in an EU Member State, such as Ryanair or easyJet, then you will require an EASA licence (easyJet does conduct some operations requiring UK CAA licence).
Why not choose both - the EASA licence and UKCAA licence?
We have outlined factors that might help you decide on a licence, but there is another option that will save you from having to make a decision and lets you maintain flexibility in where you live and work in the future.
The L3Harris dual licence enables cadets to obtain both licences in one course. All training is delivered in accordance with approved syllabi and is compliant with both UKCAA and EASA regulations.
Cadets enrolled in the programme will sit both UKCAA and EASA Theoretical Knowledge exams and complete the flying skills test in both the UK and EU airspace.
The hybrid course will be available to new cadets as early December 2021 and will open greater opportunities on graduation as dual licence holders can begin careers with either UKCAA or EASA registered airline operators. This could be particularly significant as the global vaccine roll-out continues at pace and countries open borders, leading to increased demand for air travel and in turn an increased demand for pilots.
At L3Harris we have been providing cadet pilot training for over 40 years and we are using all our experience and expertise to offer a combined solution so you can continue to pursue your passion without having to worry about the implications external factors like Brexit can have on pilot training and your career.
If you are feeling inspired by this article then we have several others that could be of interest to you. Excited for the next step? Feel free to look at our guides on ‘How to become a pilot’ as well as our FAQs.