Light Aircraft Pilot Licence

Pilots wishing to fly simple single engine aeroplanes have 4 choices.

Firstly, they may take a course leading to an UK National Private Pilot Licence, which has the least demanding a Medical Declaration, but is restricted to day flight in UK airspace including the Channel Islands. This is likely to be favoured by those with medical conditions.

Secondly, they may take a course leading to a CAA Private Pilot Licence for use only with Annex 2 Aeroplanes –old historic aeroplanes, limited to UK airspace, but can have ratings such as Night and IR added to it. New owners of rare historic aeroplanes might take this route.

Thirdly, they may take a course leading the EASA Light Aeroplane Pilot Licence, which requires an EASA LAPL medical certificate and is restricted to day flights, anywhere in Europe, with an aeroplane upto 2000Kg and upto 3 passengers. This page is focussed on this LAPL. The lowest cost option along with NPPL.

Fourthly, they may take a course leading to a full EASA Private Pilot Licence, which requires an EASA Class 2 Medical, but is valid worldwide, and can have additional ratings such as Night, IMC, En route IR, Mountain, Banner Towing, Aerobatic, Instructor and others added to it.


Applicants for an LAPL(A) must be 17 years old, proficient in English Language at Level 4-6, and have an EASA LAPL Medical Certificate.

Course Requirements

There are 3 components, flight training, theoretical ground training and written tests, and a flight test:

Applicants for an LAPL(A) will complete at least 30 hours of flight
instruction on aeroplanes or TMGs, including at least:

(1) 15 hours of dual flight instruction in the class in which the skill test will be

(2) 6 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 3 hours of solo
cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least
150 km (80 NM), during which 1 full stop landing at an aerodrome different
from the aerodrome of departure shall be made.


Applicants with prior experience as PIC may be credited towards the requirements above, subject to ATO assessment based on a pre entry flight test, but shall in any case not exceed the total flight time as PIC, or 50% of the hours required, and exclude the solo time requirement.

Applicants for an LAPL(A) shall demonstrate a level of theoretical knowledge
appropriate to the privileges granted, through examinations on the following:

(a) common subjects:

— Air law,
— Human performance,
— Meteorology, and
— Communications;

(b) specific subjects concerning the different aircraft categories:

— Principles of flight,
— Operational procedures,
— Flight performance and planning,
— Aircraft general knowledge, and
— Navigation.

Applicants for an LAPL(A) shall demonstrate through the completion of a skill test the ability to perform, as PIC aeroplanes, the relevant procedures and manoeuvres with competency appropriate to the privileges granted.

Course Progress

The course will begin with an assessment, and then an outline program. The basic flight lesson structure will follow the theme of a short briefing, followed by an instructional flight, followed by a debrief. The theory training will generally comprise a long briefing followed by home study, then a mock exam, revision training, and then the actual exam.

The briefing is followed by a familiarisation flight of about one hour to allow you to get acclimatised to the new conditions, and concluding with a few circuits. Subsequent flights will involve navigating and circuits until the student is deemed to be at a standard acceptable to permit supervised solo flight.
Privileges of the LAPL Qualification

The privileges of the holder of an LAPL for aeroplanes are to act as PIC on single engine piston aeroplanes-land or TMG with a maximum certificated take-off mass of 2000 kg or less, carrying a maximum of 3 passengers, such that there are never more than 4 persons on board of the aircraft.

Holders of an LAPL(A) shall only carry passengers after they have completed, after the issuance of the licence, 10 hours of flight time as PIC on aeroplanes or TMG.

Revalidation Requirements

Revalidation requires 12 take off and landings within the last 24 months and 1 hour refresher training with an Instructor, otherwise a Flight Test with an Examiner is required.