How to convert ICAO, FAA or UK CAA to EASA

The process how to convert an ICAO or FAA or UK CAA pilot licence to EASA will depend on the type of license(s) held, the license you are trying to obtain, and the hours or types of aircraft you have experience on, and the guidelines are set out in EASA flight crew regulation Part-FCL of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 of 25 November 2011.

Here, we summarize each license conversion on a case by case basis. 

Note:  For ICAO PPL to EASA PPL, the process is identically the same for both fixed-wing aeroplanes and rotary helicopters 

  • EASA PPL to UK CAA PPL

  • ICAO, FAA, UK CAA PPL to EASA PPL

  • ICAO, FAA, UK CAA PPL to EASA f-ATPL

  • ICAO, FAA, UK CAA CPL to EASA f-ATPL

  • ICAO, FAA, UK CAA ATPL to EASA ATPL

EASA PPL to UK CAA PPL

Note: The conversion process how to convert EASA to UK CAA is identically the same as UK CAA to EASA, but obviously the same two (2) examinations need to be completed with the UK CAA licencing authority, and the skill test with a UK CAA examiner in a G-registered aircraft.

ICAO, FAA or UK CAA PPL to EASA PPL

If you hold an ICAO-compliant Private Pilot Licence (PPL) issued outside Europe, you can convert it to a European EASA licence, and the conversion process is a simple formality.

Eligibility criteria 

You will need to:

  • have 100 hours as a pilot in the relevant aircraft category 
  • Pass two (2) EASA PPL theoretical exams (no ground school required) in AIR LAW and HUMAN PERFORMANCE & LIMITATIONS
  • Pass an English Language Proficiency (ELP) test for issue of your Radio-Telephony operator's licence OR have demonstrated language proficiency in the language to be used for radio communication
  • Pass an EASA Class two (2) Medical examination and hold a valid class 1 or 2 medical certificate
  • Pass a PPL skill test with an EASA Flight Examiner

So if you have less than 100 hours of flight time and wish to convert your ICAO / FAA / UK CAA Private Pilot License (PPL) to EASA, you must complete the full approved EASA PPL course and 45 hours flight training. 

However, if you have more than 100 hours of flying time as a pilot in the relevant aircraft category, and you wish to convert your ICAO / FAA / UK CAA Private Pilot License (PPL) to EASA, you are given a few exemptions at the discretion of the local authority, but you are still required to complete the above listed requirements.

Note:  FAA flight crew licence holders do NOT need to sit any examinations, due to an FAA-EASA bilateral agreement that reflects mutual confidence in one another's licencing procedures, as outlined in the FAA TIP-LAlso note, that the Austro-Control FAA to EASA (Conversion) Application Form is different, but can be downloaded here

Application Form for a conversion of an FAA Flight crew license for airplanes to an EASA PPL(A) according to the "Technical Implementation Procedures - Licensing (TIP-L)" between the FAA and EASA 

Licence conversion ICAO to EASA - Step by step process

(1) 

Apply for a Licence Verification Letter from your ICAO CAA licencing authority

The very first thing you need to do is apply to your ICAO Civil Aviation Authority’s Flight Crew Licencing department for a ‘Licence Verification Letter’. This can take 1 day or 1 month, depending on your licencing authority. To expedite the process, send an email today and then follow up your request with a phone call.

Details about obtaining Verification of an FAA Airman Certificate can be read here

(2) 

Apply to Austro-Control - Ask for permission to start the conversion process

Secondly, you must then request for written permission from Austro-Control to start the ICAO to EASA licence conversion application process.

Here is a template email you can copy and paste. (Adapt to suit your own personal circumstances) 

In your email to Austro-Control, state you have:

  • a Valid (* state country) PPL(A)
  • a Valid and current SEP rating 
  • More than 100+ hours total flight time on the relevant aircraft category 

Note: your licence and SEP must be current

Attach to your email copies of:

  • Austro Control (Conversion) application form
  • Passport copy
  • Valid (Country) licence copy
  • Current SEP rating
  • All log book pages showing a chronological and accumulative log of your 100+ hours total flight time, in the relevant aircraft category
  • Class 2 Medical Certificate
  •  “Licence Verification Letter” from your ICAO state licencing authority

Correct form to apply for an EASA exam:

- Conversion to a Part-FCL PPL(A) 

  1. Download the latest Austro-Control application form to apply to sit the PPL exams.
  2. Digitally fill in Parts 1 and 2 only, with your personal details. (Note: Handwritten forms will NOT be accepted by Austro-Control)
  3. Print the form and sign Part 2. 
  4. Scan and send the completed form to: piloten@austrocontrol.at along with the documents listed above. 
  5. You MUST send this application form to Austro-Control at least 21 days before the examination date.
  6. Once you receive written permission from Austro-Control to proceed with the conversion process, forward your Austro-Control approval email to: CFI@flyEPTspain.com and let us know where and when you would like to sit the EASA exams.  
  7. Fly EPT Spain will arrange for our ATO ground school Head of Training (HoT) / Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor (CTKI) to counter sign and stamp your application form.
  8. The ATO ground school coordinator will send you a confirmation email to confirm your examination date booking. 
  9. You are now all set to sit the PPL exams. On the exam day, remember to take the original stamped and signed form with you; it must be presented to the invigilator on the day of the examination.

Very Important Note: Before sitting the PPL exams, make sure your licence and SEP rating is current. On the day of the exams, the invigilator will check your licence and if your Single Engine Piston (SEP) rating is NOT current, you will NOT be allowed to sit the examinations. So, check your ICAO licence and make sure your SEP rating has NOT lapsed by the exam date.

(3)

Study for AIR LAW and HUMAN PERFORMANCE & LIMITATIONS

Note:  FAA licence holders do NOT need to sit these PPL exams.

If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements and you have Austro-Control written approval to sit the exams, you now need to study for the EASA PPL examinations in:

  • AIR LAW
  • HUMAN PERFORMANCE and LIMITATIONS

ICAO PPL licence holders converting to EASA PPL do NOT need to enroll into an approved ground course. You can go straight to the exams.

Before the exams, however, you first need to read the questions and answers for the two (2) subjects. We can provide you with online access to the latest European Central Question Bank (ECQB) so you can study the most up to date database of Q&A's from home.

If you need online access to the ECQB, contact us

(4) 

Take an ICAO English Language Proficiency (ELP) test

ICAO licence holders need to take an EASA approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) Test, as the endorsement is required for issue onto their Flight Crew Radio-Telephony (RT) Licence 

If you are a native English speaker, you are still required to take an ELP test. If you score a Level 6 (fluent), the result has lifetime validity.

For those applying for an EASA licence on the back of a UK CAA, FAA or ICAO licence that already has an ELP level 4, 5 or 6 endorsement, and are wondering whether the ELP result can be carried over onto their new EASA licence. Unfortunately the answer is 'no',  because your licence and its endorsements are not considered EASA-approved. The EASA ELP test is therefore a mandatory requirement since the UK CAA / FAA / ICAO level 4/5/6 is not considered an EASA qualification. 

We can arrange for you to complete an EASA approved ELP test with an external Language Assessment Body, and you can do this online over ZOOM using a web camera so you can remain at home. 

For further details regarding the online ELP test, select here 

If you want to schedule an ELP test, contact: CFI@flyEPTspain.com

Form 096: Austro Control GmbH form: Application for a language proficiency endorsement is required to be sent to your chosen licencing authority, together with all the other documents. (Electronically fill in your details as handwritten form are not accepted.)

(5)

Class 2 Medical Examination

You will need to undertake a Class 2 Medical examination, and this can be done by your nearest EASA-approved Aero-Medical Examiner (AME). 

You can search for an Aero-Medical Examiner (AME) in the UK here, and in Spain here

At this stage, you will need to decide which country you want your new EASA licence to be issued by, as the AME will need to state the country of issue on your medical certificate. The AME will send your EASA Class 2 Medical Certificate to your chosen EASA country's civil aviation department, and this is where your EASA aviation medical records will be held. 

(6)

Pass a PPL skill test with an EASA flight examiner

To complete the PPL licence conversion process, applicants need to take a PPL skill test in an EASA registered aircraft with an EASA approved flight examiner. Typically, this involves no more than a 2-hour check flight. 

Fly EPT Spain can arrange a PPL skill test with one of our resident Flight Examiners (FE) based at SON BONET Airport (LESB) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Expect the examiner to quiz you on subjects Air Law, Operational Procedures and Communications. All three subjects are summarized in this one (1) book which is a highly recommended read to boost your confidence for the oral quiz.

Air Law, Operational Procedures and Communications (Vol. 2) (PPL Series) 

FAA to EASA licence conversions:  Read page 29-30 in the FAA TIP-L agreement; Section B, Appendix 2 - Demonstration of Theoretical Knowledge (Subjects: Air Law and ATC Procedures, and Communications).

Note:  The oral questions will come from this book.

You will fly in a Tecnam P2002-JF which is super easy to fly.

The AFM / pilot operating handbook (POH), aircraft pilot checklist, along with radio calls and local flight procedures for LESB / Mallorca, can be viewed here.

Budget for half day, to include pre-flight and the de-brief along with some time to complete the necessary paper work which will be sent to your licencing authority.

You are free to apply to any EASA country member state of your choosing for the issuance of your new EASA Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

That is it, finished! You have completed the ICAO / FAA / UK CAA PPL to EASA PPL licence conversion process.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us

How to convert ICAO, FAA or UK CAA PPL to EASA f-ATPL 

The conversion process for an ICAO PPL licence holder, to an EASA frozen ATPL or CPL/IR. 

You will be required to complete an EASA-approved ATPL ground course with an EASA-approved ATPL theoretical ground school provider. 

The ground course can be either full‐time residential or a distance learning program. 

Fly EPT Spain can provide you with an ‘online’ ATPL theoretical ground course which is both EASA and UK CAA approved, using our very modern Web-based training distance learning software platform, allowing you to study everything from home using an iPad / tablet / PC, around your own schedule, in your own time, from anywhere in the world. 

The ATPL course is divided into 3 modules, covering all 13 ATPL subjects. The full time residential or virtual class will take six (6) months to complete. After passing all 13 theoretical examinations, ICAO PPL licence holders will then need to complete an EASA-approved course for the Commercial Pilot Licence. This is a 25-hour flying course of around 3 weeks duration, followed by a skill test with an EASA examiner. Before commencing the EASA CPL flying training course, pilots must have at least 150 hours total flight time plus a Night rating. For license issue, you must have 200 hours total time, 100 hours PIC, a 300 NM solo cross‐country flight and a radio telephony license already issued. To add the Multi-Engine (ME) Instrument Rating (IR), students need to take a 6-hour Multi Engine rating course which can be completed in one (1) week. Followed by a 45 hour ME-IR course, of which 30 hours can be completed in a simulator. 

This completes the conversion process from an ICAO, FAA or UK CAA PPL to an EASA frozen ATPL or CPL/ME-IR. 

How to convert ICAO CPL to restricted / frozen EASA ATPL 

For ICAO CPL holders wanting to convert to an EASA frozen or restricted ATPL

ICAO CPL licence holders or f-ATPL that have less than 1,500 hours total time, need to formally enroll into an EASA-approved ATPL theoretical ground course with an Approved Training Organization (ATO). On completion of passing all 13 ATPL theoretical examinations, you will need to complete an EASA conversion course for the Commercial Pilots License (CPL).

Before commencing the training for the CPL modular flying course, you must have at least 100 hours PIC. This training is “as required”, so once you have demonstrated a satisfactory standard to the CFI / HoT, you will then be able to complete the skill test with an EASA flight examiner. On completion of the CPL, you will need to pass the EASA multi-engine instrument rating. The ME-IR is a 45-hour training course, however, if you hold an ICAO instrument rating, you are given a 40-hour exemption from the EASA ME-IR course, leaving you with a minimum 15-hour mandatory conversion course before taking the ME-IR skill test.

Convert EASA CPL to UK CAA CPL

Fly EPT Spain ATPL online theoretical ground course is both UK CAA and EASA approved. If you have already completed the ATPL theory course with us, and you want both EASA and UK CAA ATPL licences, you only need to take both the EASA and UK CAA ATPL exams separately. Once you receive the EASA f-ATPL, the UK CAA flight training is ‘as required’ as described above. 

How to convert ICAO ATPL to an unrestricted EASA ATPL 

For ICAO / FAA / UK CAA ATPL licence holders wanting an EASA ATPL. 

If you have: 

  • an EASA Class 1 Medical certificate
  • an R/T license
  • more than 1,500 hours total time, including more than 500 hours on a multi‐pilot aircraft
  • a type rating, with more than 500 hours on type 

You are still required to pass all 13 EASA ATPL theoretical examinations under the direction of an Approved Training Organization (ATO); however, you are NOT required to attend a formal ground school. You can go straight to the exams. 

On completion of passing all 13 EASA ATPL examinations, you may complete the training, as required, in a Level ‘D’ aircraft simulator on which you have more than 500 hours on type, and on which an ATPL skill test will be conducted by an EASA Type Rating Examiner (TRE) during your next Licence Proficiency Check (LPC). 

Fly EPT Spain can provide ‘online’ access to the European Central Question Bank (ECQB), which is perfectly suited for airline pilots actively flying the line and need a flexible distance learning platform, allowing for home study using an iPad / tablet / PC, which can be completed in their own time, around their own schedule, from anywhere in the world. This we call the ATPL 'short' course

For full details regarding the ATPL 'short' course, select here

To apply to take the EASA ATPL theoretical exams, choose the relevant Austro Control application form (Conversion); type in your details using a home PC.

ATPL (A) Application Form (Conversion)

Email the form to: CFI@flyEPTspain.com 

We will arrange for our ATO ground school provider to counter sign it. You will then need to email the form to your chosen exam centre 21 days before test date.