The Aircrew Regulation under EASA
The European Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 (the "Aircrew Regulation") is binding and directly applicable in all EASA Member States since 8 April 2012.
The regulation includes several annexes, of which Part-FCL (Flight Crew Licensing, Annex I) and Part-MED (Medical Certification, Annex IV) are the most important ones for pilots.[nb 1] In order to act as a pilot-in-command of an "EASA aircraft" as specified in the Regulation, it is a regulated requirement to hold a pilot license according to Part-FCL, in principle. However, due to the burdensome requirements for organizations - such as gliding clubs - for training towards such a pilot licence (non-commercial), Part-DTO (Annex VIII) was introduced by Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1119 of 31 July 2018 to promote more flexibility within General Aviation.
Nonetheless, each Member State was given by legislation (by the Commission Regulation itself) the possibility, through a derogation, to not apply among others:
- Annexes I to IV until 8 April 2013
- provisions of Annex I related to powered-lift aircraft and airships until 8 April 2015
- provisions of Annex I related to sailplanes and balloons until
8 April 2018/ 8 April 2020 (extended by Regulation (EU) 2018/1119)
For glider pilots, the last itemized permitted derogation is probably the most relevant one; indeed, the United Kingdom is referring to this possibility: The UK CAA has filed such an exemption for pilots of sailplanes and balloons from Part-FCL licensing requirements in the United Kingdom - while gliding clubs (or the British Gliding Association in the UK) use the time to set themselves up as DTOs to offer EASA-compliant training courses towards the LAPL(S) license or the SPL license (UK CAA General Exemption E 4825).
Hence, currently, there is still no requirement to hold a (Part-FCL compliant) pilot license while flying a sailplane in the UK, yet. In fact, there is no legal requirement in the UK, at all, to hold a license as a glider pilot for non-commercial operations.
Changes in EASA Sailplane Licensing: Part-SFCL (possibly from April 2020)
LAPL(S)/SPL License (as of up until March 2020)
- See also: Medical
- The other annexes are concerned with the cabin crew in Part-CC (Annex V), the aircrew requirements for the National Aviation Authorities - e.g. the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the United Kingdom or the German Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA) for Germany - in Part-ARA (Annex VI), the aircrew requirements for organizations - such as aeromedical centres and training organizations - in Part-ORA (Annex VII) and requirements for Declared Training Organizations in Part-DTO (Annex VIII).
Conversion requirements for (existing) national licenses of Member States are regulated by Annex II; and the acceptance of those from third countries (under which the UK falls after a "No Deal"-Brexit) are regulated by Annex III.