Welcome to the final update in our series of blogs documenting the journey of one of our Resilient Pilot mentors as they look to regain EASA privileges from a UK FCL post Brexit and the transfer deadline.
From our last update you will recall our mentor had completed all the necessary conversion steps and was awaiting the arrival of their licence in the post. We’re glad to confirm this has now arrived and our mentor is now the holder of both a UK and EASA FCL & medicals.
This therefore marks the final entry in our series of blogs documenting the journey. However, the receipt of this EASA licence didn’t come without a few last hurdles, including subsequent fees and paperwork. This article aims to summarise the final steps…
Please understand this is a personal case study of updates and by no means a method to be quoted for obtaining an EASA licence. It is written simply to raise awareness of potential steps to take, which needs to be supplemented with your own research.
A Special Delivery
Since completing their combined LPC and LST in the sim in Austria and submitting the final examiners report, our mentor had been patiently awaiting the arrival of their licence. The day finally came in early October with our mentor receiving the licence with attached type rating through the post. This was a huge and satisfying moment after a long conversion process which commenced in May 2021.
So, that’s the process completed?
Unfortunately not. The arrival of the licence was combined with a final bill from Austro-Control containing two invoices of licence application and issue fees. The first invoice amounted to over €1,000 including fees for the legislation of licencing in Austria. The second amounted to around €180 which contained the cost of legally prescribed fees, and fees for inserts (the scanning of logbook pages.)
The total bill therefore amounted to roughly €1200 from Austro-Control. This of course is another large figure in the conversion process but remember until this point nothing has been paid to the Austrian authorities, just the UK CAA to release the licence records.
However, it’s important to be aware of these fees and not let them come as a surprise at the end of the process. Another complication with this bill was the fact it was written in German with no option for an English breakdown. Be aware of this and seek professional translation assistance if required (we do have a German speaker among the Resilient Pilot mentor team if you need help with this – just email firstname.lastname@example.org).
There you have it: an EASA licence in hand whilst still holding a separate UK FCL, but how long did it take? Our mentor’s initial email requesting a conversion was sent at the end of May 2021 and the licence was received in the post with a dispatch letter dated 8th October 2021. Therefore, after payment of the final bill, the process was complete within 5 months.
Is it worth it?
5 months is a long period of time, however compared to the potential length of your career it could be seen as a very worthwhile investment. This, coupled with the fact the process is hopefully becoming quicker the more time passes would mean pilots have to sacrifice less of their time in the process.
But the timeframe isn’t the only consideration to make, there are also three key points our mentor would like to re-emphasise…
Make sure you consider the right to live and work in the EU. If you’ve gone to the trouble of obtaining an EASA licence but can’t obtain a work permit in your company’s country of choice, it could cause further delays to the flight deck
Don’t be surprised by how long the process takes and the final costs of licence issue. As mentioned earlier it could be easy to forget to budget for the final legislation fees billed on receipt of the licence.
And finally, remember you must now take extra care to ensure you keep both medicals and licences current. This process can be made easier through tips in our previous entries such as using a UK and EASA approved medical examiner.
Therefore, our question to you, are you considering it?
We hope you’ve found these blogs useful whilst considering your options for obtaining an EASA FCL post Brexit. Please complete our short Microsoft forms survey on whether you are considering undertaking this process: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=iHs8xB_OIkSSZDZeBNjeUD_z4aIXzbZBvzaFUSnJ2KJUN1dDS0QxSzlLUVE3VjJWU0RCTVRBVEtYNS4u
More positive News
We have recently also been made aware of an Early Day Motion asking for a reciprocal licencing agreement. Many more MPs are getting onboard and working to improve this difficult situation for pilots and engineers.
The motion text states: ‘This House calls on the Government to negotiate a post Brexit reciprocal agreement between the UK and EU regarding the transfer of UK CAA Flight Crew Licences to EASA member states licences; further calls on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to put in place immediate financial support to help with the licence conversion costs to support the UK economy and prevent many more UK licensed pilots from losing their jobs, or being unable to secure highly-trained positions over their EU/EASA licensed counterparts.’
If you would like to read more about this substantial development, please click the link: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/59030
One Final Request
Throughout this blog series we have requested a great deal of our readers through signing petitions and raising awareness of this lengthy process. Finally, we have one last request…
If you’re a UK citizen, please write to your MP to sign and support EDM 547. If further action is taken, it could mean pilots are supported financially through this process, or an agreement could be reached to make it far simpler.
Or is it just the beginning?
That concludes our series of blogs documenting the journey of our mentor, we hope you’ve found the series useful. You can find all our previous entries on the Resilient Pilot website for in depth reading.
If you would like further support on this topic don’t forget our mentors are here to support you; connect with our team via the ‘Supported’ page.
Here’s to brighter skies. Stay resilient.