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Thursday, 5 Aug 2010

NPPLs now valid in France

The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced yesterday that holders of a National Private Pilot Licence (NPPL) with Simple Single Engine Aeroplane (SSEA) ratings can now fly in France.

Following an agreement with the Direction GĂ©nerale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), an NPPL holder in possession of an SSEA rating, a Class 2 Medical Certificate and  a certificate confirming a minimum level of experience (administered by NPLG Ltd), can now fly the English Channel and enter French airspace.

The NPPL was introduced in 2002 aimed strictly at leisure flyers. The medical requirements were less stringent than the Private Pilots Licence (PPL) but holders were restricted to daytime, VFR flying within the UK. Following consultation with GA organisations the CAA successfully lobbied its French counterpart to allow NPPL holders access to French airspace.

Ray Elgy, Head of Licensing and Training Standards at the CAA, said: "We are very pleased to be able to make this announcement. The introduction of the NPPL has been a great success and the fact that holders are no longer restricted to UK airspace enhances its benefits. We would like to thank the DGAC for all their assistance in making it happen."

All other restrictions on NPPLs, such as night flying, will remain in place, and these provisions do not apply to ratings other than SSEA; (there are other arrangements for holders of microlight ratings through the BMAA). The DGAC has now released an Aeronautical Information Circular (Reference AIC France A 2010_13) which prescribes the procedure that must be followed by pilots wishing to take advantage of this opportunity.

The French AIC may be found in PDF format online at:

https://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/dossier/aicfrancea/AIC_A_2010_13_EN.pdf 

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