The Belgian civil-aviation authority is coming under pressure from the European Commission (EC) to comply with rules which oblige all member states to accept and revalidate pilot licences wherever they are issued within the European Union.

The issue is being pressed by a Belgian national who trained as a commercial pilot in the UK with instrument rating on Piper Senecas. He was subsequently hired by Sabena's low-cost DAT subsidiary to fly Fokker F28s, following further training.

He later discovered that the Belgian CAA was unwilling to revalidate his licence and was told to go back to the UK every six months. Because there are no F28s on the UK register the UK CAA proposed to send an examiner to Belgium to carry out a check ride, but only if DAT would pay.

The pilot, who claims that other pilots are in the same situation, has subsequently been retained in the UK to fly Boeing 757/767s (at his own expense) and he now flies with Netherlands national carrier KLM, where the UK licence is fully accepted.

Source: Flight International