This will come as good news to UK-based students who are required to complete acclimatisation flying and the IR skill test in an EU member state for the issue of an EASA licence. With the world in the grips of a pandemic, sourcing and travelling to flight schools abroad could understandably prove quite unsettling for some, however the proximity of EU airspace to our base at Brighton City Airport has made completing the acclimatisation flying and IR skill test in EU airspace straightforward, without ever spending a night away from British soil.
Brexit has been rumbling for almost 5 years now and yet the repercussions from the UK’s official exit in January last year are still unfolding. As Head of Training, Phil Jones, explains: “We have continually strived to put all necessary measures in place to see our students – past and present – navigate this unprecedented situation. I genuinely feel that we have always offered the best advice we can and have stayed in close communication with our students throughout. I am pleased that we could continue with our training with options for our students in place.”
Students who enrol on the 2021 Integrated Flight Deck Programme will have the option to complete training for both a UK CAA and EASA issued licence (simultaneously) – all included within the course price of £87,950. Those who want to obtain both a UK CAA and EASA pilot’s licence will need to complete a UK CAA and EASA issued Class 1 medical (completed in a single assessment), an additional IR skill test, and sit ATPL exams with both the UK CAA and EASA (under Austro Control), also in the UK. All 2021 students are advised to complete their Class 1 medical at: Centreline Aviation Medical Services. Based in London, the examination centre also ensured they were Brexit-ready and they are able to issue both UK CAA and EASA Class One initial certificates and renewals/revalidations.
Completing two sets of ATPL exams may seem challenging, but the syllabus is currently identical and students learn the full extent of each subject area, so the exams will be almost identical. In fact, at present, questions for both syllabuses are drawn from the same question-bank.
Sean Jacob, Managing Director, explains his delight at what his company has put in place: “The Training Team at FTA worked hard to ensure that when the UK left the EU, we would continue to offer the best possible solution for commercial pilot training. Our students will have the opportunity to complete their training under both UK CAA and EASA approvals and secure the broadest range of opportunities upon completion.”
Indeed, FTA emerges from BREXIT as one of the few ATO’s able to offer training for both EASA and UK CAA licences and ratings – and probably the only ATO that does not require its students to stay in another country to complete an EASA syllabus.
The ability to deliver both the UK CAA and EASA approved ATPL syllabus assures a high and comprehensive level of teaching, with students sitting exams with confidence. In the last exam sitting, 98% of the students passed and the exam average pass mark was over 90%.
The UK has long proved to be the perfect place to train to be a pilot, with English as the spoken language, busy air space and challenging weather conditions. Students have travelled from around the globe to complete their pilot training here. We are based on the idyllic Sussex coast at a busy airport with full ATC, which means students can develop their radio communication skills from day one. The proximity to the continent has always meant that our school conducts a handful of flights across the water, but with a short positioning flight, the IR skills test can now also be completed in EU airspace.