Licences for general aviation pilots will be valid across the European Union from April. At the same time, qualifications for instructors, examiners and aeromedical practitioners will be unified according to EU rules.
The European Commission has just published a regulation harmonising qualification and medical requirements for pilots. The Commission explained: "It will enable pilots holding a licence issued in one member state to fly throughout the EU without needing to fulfil any additional technical or medical requirements. The rules are based on international aviation safety standards set out in the Chicago Convention."
Vice-president Siim Kallas, commissioner for transport, said: "These new rules will simplify the lives of thousands of pilots across the EU while ensuring high levels of safety."
The proposal has received backing from member states and the European Parliament.
The rules will be applicable from 8 April 2012, and will, the Commission said, contribute to a simpler, more cost-effective and efficient framework to obtain commercial and non-commercial pilot licences.
The new rules create:
- New light aircraft pilot licences and related medical requirements;
- Harmonised rules covering licences for gliders, hot air balloons, airships and powered-lift aircraft;
- Harmonised medical fitness requirements for cabin crew; and
- Common requirements for pilots' examiners, instructors and aeromedical examiners allowing them to work anywhere in the EU.
The Commission said: "This legislative measure will soon be complemented with EU-wide requirements for aviation authorities, pilot training organisations, aeromedical centres and simulators that will further contribute to simplifying rules for the aviation sector."