The UK Civil Aviation Authority has extended the 1 July deadline for the issue of European Aviation Safety Agency licences to 17 September.
The delay is necessary for logistical reasons, says the CAA, because "more than 20,000 national licences will have to be converted during the period; this is in addition to the Joint Aviation Regulation (JAR) licences that will have to be replaced with EASA licences on expiry or amendment". The licence documents have to be physically replaced.
This change affects only the date when the first EASA licences, known as Part FCL licences, can be issued. Meanwhile, the deadlines by which national commercial and private licences must be converted to Part FCL remain as April 2014 and April 2015, respectively.
This process is a part of the Europe-wide transition from local pilot licencing law to standards - including associated medical requirements - that are common across all the Joint Aviation Authorities nations. The JAA includes all EU countries and many others that have opted in to pan-European rules and standards.
The CAA says that, almost without exception, UK or JAR FCL licences convert directly to their Part FCL equivalent without the need for anything other than an application. Flight schools and student pilots are already working to a common EASA curriculum in flight and academic terms.