FAA / ICAO pilot certificate to JAA pilot license conversion

How to convert FAA to JAA

Please note:

The following is for your information only. We do not provide FAA/JAA/CAA conversions unless you are an active trainee pilot with us.

If you hold a pilot license issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 (e.g. FAA pilot license) and wish to fly an aircraft registered in JAA-member country, you will need to obtain a JAA pilot license. It is not an easy process – it can be quite complicated and time + money consuming, but it can be achieved. There are 2 ways how you can go about it. First possibility is to have your current non-JAA license validated by the Aviation Authority of the JAA country where you intend to do the flying. Second possibility is to convert your current non-JAA license into JAA license.

The information outlined in the following paragraphs is trying to describe the process of pilot license validation and pilot license conversion. Please, treat this info as a guide only as the applicable regulations change quite often. For the latest status of applicable legislation, please, refer to the applicable sections of JAR-FCL , which is a document that governs the aspects of issuing pilot licenses and pilot training in Europe.

Refer to chapter JAR-FCL 1.015 + the applicable Appendixes to this chapter.

The license conversion process can be somewhat complicated. We recommend that you contact an approved Flight Training Organization and discuss your conversion requirements with them. They will be able to provide you with more up-to-date information on the latest legislation changes and provide you will all the required training involved in the process.

Validation of your NON JAA certificate

JAR-FCL-1, chapter 1.015, section (b) allows the Aviation Authority of a JAA-member country to approve a validation of a non-JAA pilot license for a period not exceeding 1 year. This validation is however completely at the discretion of the Aviation Authority. Most likely the only time when the Aviation Authority would approve such validation would be an immediate need of qualified and type-rated professional pilots by one of the aircraft operators (airlines) in that respective country. If your validation is approved you will receive a time-limited JAA “national” license that will be valid only for flight operations on aircraft registered in the respective country that granted you the validation. You will not be able to fly aircraft registered in other JAA countries.

Conditions for license validation

  1. Your current non-JAA license must be valid
  2. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 1 medical certificate
  3. Meet the requirements of Appendix 1 or 3 to JAR-FCL 1.015
  4. Pass a skill test / type or class rating revalidation
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of relevant sections of JAR-OPS + JAR-FCL regulations

Conversion of your NON JAA certificate

JAR-FCL-1, chapter 1.015, section (c) describes the legislation involved in converting your non-JAA (ICAO) license to JAA license. The conversion process requirements are greately dependant and vary with your pilot experience and license type you hold. The following sections outline the basic conversion requirements for different experience levels and license types:

ICAO ATPL to JAA ATPL

(experience >3000 hrs on aeroplanes over 30t MTOW, including >1500 PIC hrs on these)

If you hold a non-JAA ATPL license and have 3000 hours on multi-pilot certified aeroplanes (PIC or co-pilot) with maximum takeoff weight of 30.000 kg or more and have at least 1500 hours as PIC (Captain) on these aircraft you qualify for the exemption in the widest scope. Your experience will be evaluated on individual basis and conversion requirements will be setup for you by the Civil Aviation Authority of the state where you intend to do the flying.

(experience >1500 hrs on multi-pilot aeroplanes; including >500 hrs on type)

If you hold a non-JAA ATPL license and have 1500 hours on multi-pilot certified aeroplanes (PIC or co-pilot), including 500 hours on the multi-pilot aeroplane type on which you will be doing your final JAA skill test, the following requirements apply to you. You are not required to undergo a formal structured JAA ATPL groundschool training for your theoretical examinations and you do not need to undergo the Type-Rating/MCC training.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 1 medical
  2. Obtain a Radio Telephony Operator License
  3. Pass all 14 JAA ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations
  4. Pass the ATPL skill test – must be with or observed by a CAA Flight Operations Inspector


(experience >1500 hrs on multi-pilot aeroplanes; including <500 hrs on type)

If you hold a non-JAA ATPL license and have 1500 hours on multi-pilot certified aeroplanes (PIC or co-pilot), but less than 500 hours on the multi-pilot aeroplane type on which you will be doing your final JAA skill test, the following requirements apply to you. You are not required to undergo a formal structured JAA ATPL groundschool training for your theoretical examinations, but you will need to do the Type-Rating/MCC training.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 1 medical
  2. Obtain a Radio Telephony Operator License
  3. Pass all 14 JAA ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations
  4. Undergo and pass Type-Rating/MCC course in approved TRTO (Type Rating Training Organization)
  5. Pass the ATPL skill test – must be with or observed by a CAA Flight Operations Inspector

(your experience not meeting any of the paragraphs above)

If you hold a non-JAA ATPL license, but you do not meet the minimum experience requirements described in paragraphs above, the following conversion requirements will apply to you.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 1 medical
  2. Obtain a Radio Telephony Operator License
  3. Undertake JAA ATPL groundschool training at an approved Flight Training Organization (FTO)
  4. Pass all 14 JAA ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations
  5. Undergo and pass Type-Rating/MCC course in approved TRTO (Type Rating Training Organization)
  6. Pass the ATPL skill test – must be with or observed by a CAA Flight Operations Inspector
ICAO ATPL to JAA CPL/IR

(if you do not meet JAA ATPL minimum requirements)

If you hold a non-JAA ATPL license, but you do not meet the minimum requirements for issuing JAA ATPL (mainly the 500 hrs requirement on multi-pilot aeroplanes), the following conversion requirements apply to you.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 1 medical
  2. Obtain a Radio Telephony Operator License
  3. Undertake full 650-hr JAA ATPL groundschool training at an approved Flight Training Organization (FTO)
  4. Undertake modular CPL flight training course (5 hrs on complex aeroplane) at an approved FTO
  5. Complete a minimum of 15 hrs of instrument flight training (5 or 10 hrs may be in a FNPT, FNPT2 or simulator)
  6. Pass all 14 JAA ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations
  7. Pass the CPL/IR skill test with a CAA Flight Examiner
ICAO CPL to JAA CPL

If you hold a non-JAA CPL license the following conversion requirements will apply to you.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 1 medical
  2. Obtain a Radio Telephony Operator License
  3. Undertake JAA CPL groundschool training at an approved Flight Training Organization (FTO)
  4. Undertake modular CPL flight training course (5 hrs on complex aeroplane) at an approved FTO
  5. Pass all 9 JAA CPL theoretical knowledge examinations
  6. Pass the CPL skill test with a CAA Flight Examiner
ICAO IR to JAA IR

If you hold a non-JAA Instrument Rating the following conversion requirements will apply to you.

  1. Undertake JAA IR groundschool training at an approved Flight Training Organization (FTO)
  2. Pass all 7 JAA IR theoretical knowledge examinations
  3. Complete a minimum of 15 hrs of instrument flight training (5 or 10 hrs may be in a FNPT, FNPT2 or simulator)
  4. Pass the IR skill test with a CAA Flight Examiner
ICAO PPL to JAA PPL

(your experience is > 100 flight hours)
If you hold a non-JAA PPL license the following conversion requirements will apply to you.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 2 medical
  2. Pass the JAA Air Law theoretical knowledge examination
  3. Pass the JAA Human Performance & Limitations theoretical knowledge examination
  4. Pass the PPL skill test

(your experience is <100 flight hours)
If you hold a non-JAA PPL license the following conversion requirements will apply to you.

  1. Hold a valid JAR-FCL Class 2 medical
  2. Pass all JAA PPL theoretical knowledge examination
  3. Must meet the minimum JAA PPL flying experience requirements
  4. Pass the PPL skill test