I'm studying ab initio towards an EASA PPL. To be ready for my first solo, I obtained a class 2 medical certificate earlier this year. I had to take a day off work to do it and spend some cash that could have paid for flight time! Recently, the CAA has announced changes to the medical certificate requirements, aimed at reducing the need for private pilots to see an AME, but the announcement is not entirely clear to me.

Assuming these changes come into force before I first fly solo, could I have obtained an EASA PPL (and used all the privileges of that licence) without having obtained the class 2 medical certificate? If so, and assuming I don't intend to progress to a CPL or ATPL, is there anything else I need my certificate for, or any reason to renew it when that comes up in five years?

  • $\begingroup$ Just as a side note, I wish the US would get off its collective butts and pass third-class medical reform... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I second that. I'm wanting to learn to fly, but even if I can manage to afford it, I'd have to stop taking some of my very beneficial meds. I'm sure as another pilot or person under my flight path you'd want me ON those meds rather than OFF of them. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


No, I don't think so. I believe there is a distinction between a UK PPL and an EASA PPL. UK PPLs are defined purely by the CAA and only permit flying of aircraft outside the scope of the EASA licensing regime, such as some vintage and home-built aircraft.

The CAA proposal applies to the UK NPPL and PPL licenses not to the EASA PPL (with the exception that it may apply to pilots flying non-EASA aircraft in the UK only).

As it stands it is still necessary to have a class 2 medical to use the full privileges of an EASA PPL, although as footnote 1 says the CAA "aim to influence EASA in considering reviewing the medical requirements for EASA Private Pilot licence holders flying EASA aircraft".

  • $\begingroup$ I thought that at first, especially given I'd earlier heard the change was for the NPPL only. As I understand it, the only UK-specific thing is an NPPL. The linked site specifically calls out the NPPL separately, which suggests that what it calls a "UK PPL" just means an EASA PPL issued in the UK. That's why I'm confused! $\endgroup$
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Nigel Harper is right - this only applies to UK PPLs, not EASA PPLs. $\endgroup$
    – jwoolard
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ The system is a bit confusing - while the default for most people is an EASA PPL (and I would recommend going this route), the full set of licenses exists as national licenses in parallel: * LAPL (EASA) corresponds to NPPL (UK National) * PPL (EASA) -> PPL (UK National) * CPL (EASA) -> PPL (UK National) With some rare exceptions, an EASA PPL is valid on UK non-EASA aircraft, but not the other way round. $\endgroup$
    – jwoolard
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ I've just realised this deserves an answer of its own, but not to this question... $\endgroup$
    – jwoolard
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 6:40

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