National Private Pilot's Licence (NPPL)

The National Private Pilot's Licence (NPPL) came into effect in July 2002. This licence is aimed at those who wish to fly solely for recreational purposes, rather than those wanting to fly for a career.

It allows the holder to fly a single engine aircraft of up to 2000kgs, with up to 3 passengers. It differs to the JAA Private Pilot's Licence (JAA PPL) in that it requires a minimum of 32 hours (rather than 45 hours) flight training, and the medical requirements are not as stringent as the JAA PPL. The NPPL medical certificate can be signed off by your own GP, and the requirements are equivalent to the DVLA standards for an HGV driver. It is also possible to apply for an NPPL with a medical standard equivalent to that of a car driver, however this restricts you to flying without passengers (except for with a safety pilot).

The NPPL can only be used to fly within the UK, and, unlike the JAA PPL you cannot add night or instrument ratings to the licence after completion. However, you can count 30 hours of NPPL training time towards the JAR PPL, should you wish to do this at a later date. It is also possible to change to a JAR PPL during the NPPL course, should you so wish.

The course requires a minimum of 32 hours training; this is carried out in two parts:

  1. No less than 22 hours is to be dual instruction, to include one hour of instrument appreciation.
  2. No less than 10 hours is to be solo flying, this must include at least four hours of solo cross country work.

Seven written exams have to be taken (exactly the same as the JAA PPL); these can be taken at GFC, with one of our in-house examiners. There is also a practical Radio examination (RT) to be taken.

Upon completion of the course, and in order to obtain the NPPL, the student has to complete two practical tests (These tests can be combined into one):

  1. The Navigation Skills Test
  2. The General Skills Test

Important Note: The following information is for guidance purposes only. If you wish to obtain an
NPPL you should refer to the NPPL web site at to ensure that the information is still current
and has not changed since publication of this webapge.