The National Private Pilots Licence – NPPL (SSEA)

The National Private Pilots Licence allows the holder to fly UK (G) registered aircraft up to 2000kgs in the United Kingdom only. Because the licence does not meet the required minimum standards for training internationally, it is not recognised for flights abroad, although there is a General Exemption which permits flight within the Channel Islands and now France subject to a Flight Instructor Endorsement. It is also not possible to attach additional ratings such as night and IMC.


The student must be at least 14 years of age on commencement of training. Before the first solo flight the student must be at least 16 years of age and have a general declaration (medical) form signed by their General Practitioner. It is strongly recommended that the general declaration is sought before commencing training, since failing to meet the medical requirements will result in a cessation of training.

Course Requirements

Before a student can be issued with a NPPL(SSEA) he or she must be at least 17 years of age and have accrue a minimum of 32 hours flying as a pilot under training. Of those 32 hours, 22 hours must be dual instruction (to include at least 1 hour of instrument appreciation) and 10 hours solo (of which 4 hours must be on cross country exercises). Unlike the JAR-FCL PPL(A) the skills tests do not form part of the hours required for licence issue, so the total hours required for the NPPL will be nearer to 35 on completion of the course.
The student must successfully pass multiple choice theoretical knowledge examinations in 7 subjects which includes: Air Law, Meteorology, Navigation, Aircraft Technical, Flight Planning and Performance, Human Performance and Limitations and Radio Telephony.
If a radio telephony licence is required, and it usualyy is, then a radio telephony oral exam must also be taken.

Course Progress

The course begins with introductions to the controls and progresses towards general handling. The general handling phase culminates in the aerodrome circuit and eventually the first solo exercise. After a period of solo consolidation, the student will complete a further phase of general handling before learning to navigate and taking greater responsibility for managing the flight. Once the instructor is convinced of the student’s ability the first solo cross country flight will take place. After several more solo flights the student will take the navigation skills test and following successful completion, the qualifying cross country. The final stage to the course is a general skills test covering the general handling exercises.

The average student will take much longer than minimum hours to complete the course. Despite a lower minimum hours requirement to the JAR-FCL PPL(A), there is in reality very little difference in the syllabus (only radio navigation aids are omitted). To complete the NPPL syllabus in 32 hours is an exceptional achievement. Given that most students will accrue at least as many hours as required by the JAR-FCL course, it is recommended that (unless medical circumstances dictate otherwise) the JAR course is followed.

Privileges of the NPPL (SSEA)

The holder of a NPPL(SSEA) is permitted to fly:

• aircraft with a maximum take off weight not exceeding 2000kgs, excluding TMGs and Microlights
• during the hours of daylight
• in flight visibilities not less than 5km
• while remaining in sight of the surface at all times
• with a maximum of 3 passengers (providing there is no restriction on the general declaration), but not for remuneration.

The holder of an NPPL is not permitted to fly at night or in any circumstances which require adherence to Instrument Flight Rules. And unfortunately, it is not possible to add ratings which remove these restrictions.

Revalidation Requirements

The NPPL is valid for life, but much like the JAR-FCL PPL(A) the SSEA (simple single engine aircraft) rating must be revalidated every 24 months. The revalidation by experience shall include 12 hours of flight experience over the validity period of the rating of which 8 hours must be as pilot in command and it should include a 1 hour training flight with an instructor. Additionally, during the final year of the rating the NPPL holder must fly at least 6 hours.


The NPPL Licence requires a minimum of 32 hours of dual instruction. It can be conducted in either the Cessna 150/152 or Cessna 172. Membership of FAC is additiional.

Cessna 150/152 £4750 inc VAT
Cessna 172 £5300 inc VAT