EASA was formed in 2003 to administer new European aviation regulations and rules. One of its key tasks was to create a new set of uniform flight crew licensing (FCL) requirements for the European community. On April 8, 2012, the new regulations for pilot training and issuance of European pilot licenses, ratings and certificates became effective.
While these regulations are significant, most CBAA Members holding pilot licenses issued by Transport Canada should not see major changes. This is primarily due to Article 33 of the Convention on International Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention.
Article 33 provides that certificates of airworthiness, certificates of competency and licenses issued or validated by the state in which the aircraft is registered, shall be recognized as valid by other states. To be recognized, the certificates and licenses must be issued according to minimum standards issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and both states must be ICAO members.
For example, a pilot who is a Canadian resident, holds a valid Transport Canada pilot certificate/medical, and is operating an aircraft based and registered in Canada can freely operate in Europe without needing to obtain a new license or have his/her existing license validated. This is because both Canada and EU Member States are ICAO contracting states and meet the minimum licensing standards.
In the following situations a pilot holding a license from the Canada (or another non-EU state) could be required to obtain an EASA license or validation from an EU Member State:
- The pilot is flying an aircraft regulated by EASA that is registered in the EU; or
- The pilot is flying an aircraft regulated by EASA that is registered in a state outside the EU but whose operator is resident or established in the EU
In other words, a pilot that resides in the EU, but operates an aircraft registered outside the EU would be required to obtain an EASA license or EU validation based on the new rules. The same would be true for pilots flying for an EU corporation that operates non-EU registered aircraft.
The situations described above should not apply to most CBAA Members operating in the EU, meaning that it will normally NOT be necessary to obtain an EASA pilot license or EU validation to fly “C” registered aircraft in the EU.