19 February 2018
EASA PPL(A) or PPL(H)
This is the main private pilot’s licence, as regulated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It allows you to fly anywhere in Europe, and is recognised around the world, including in the USA, Africa, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
You can add various ratings such as an Instrument Rating (IR), and progress to a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL). It needs a Class 2 medical (see p16). The minimum flight training for an EASA PPL is 45 hours.
LAPL(A) or LAPL(H)
The Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence (LAPL) is also pan-European. The main differences to the EASA PPL are that the training course is shorter, just thirty hours, and the medical requirements less onerous.
A LAPL allows you to fly aircraft up to 2,000kg in weight with a maximum of three passengers. You can’t add an Instrument Rating, but you can a Night Rating. The LAPL is perfectly suitable for most leisure pilots and can be upgraded to an EASA PPL with further training.
The National Private Pilot’s Licence (NPPL) is UK-only and is rarely taught for light aircraft these days. A microlight-only licence is still an NPPL, although you can also fly microlights on either an EASA PPL or an LAPL.