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CPL conversion question (FAA to EASA)


We have a situation at the ATO and thought to share with you guys here to get some advice how to proceed!!. Many users in this forum have great experience and knowledge to share.

One of our students want to convert his FAA ATP to EASA CPL/ME/IR
- he has an EASA 1st class medical issued by Germany
- He has completed all 14 EASA ATPL exams with UK CAA (before brexit). Completion on last exam was 15th of September 2018 (he is reaching the 36 months and after that ATPL exams expires)
- He also meets the minimum flight time for conversion

We are going to do an assessment with him and then apply for reduced training to Swedish CAA. (Our ATO is located in Sweden)

My question is does he need to transfer his medical from Germany to Sweden before we can start his training?
Can we finish his training based on reduced training we got from Swedish CAA and submit all the paperwork to State that holds the medical records which is Germany in this case.

I would think since it is EASA it should be the same!! But I could be wrong.
The problem is that we have until 15th of September to finish him before his ATPL Expires.

many thanks

Last Edited by ABCD at 30 Jul 18:11

I don’t know how much this applies, but we have a Latvian ATO quite popular in Estonia, where everybody who attends uses their Estonian medical.. Also my friend did his CPL in Germany,also with Estonian medical. But in all those cases the licencse was finally given by estonian CAA.,

EETU, Estonia

Is there any official conversion route from an ICAO ATPL?

There used to be various e.g. the Irish CAA would convert any ICAO ATPL to a JAA ATPL, but EASA killed it a year or so after they found out

A route which still exists but nobody will discuss openly, is to get a job for an EASA reg operator, and they can issue a validation of an ICAO CPL/IR. With some wangling this can be converted into a permanent conversion and I know of a few who have done it. Hungary was a favourite route…

The only official “advantage” I know of is the ICAO IR to CB IR conversion, which avoids the 7 IR exams, but that gets you an IR which (assuming you then do the EASA CPL) is never convertible to an EASA ATPL no matter how much multi pilot cockpit time you have. You will have a fully valid CPL/IR. Detail here. You have to do the 14 “ATPL” exams… so the only advantage left in the CB IR route is that some of the time can be flown with a freelance IRI (which saves money over doing the lot in an FTO).

BTW the FAA ATPL should give you the HPA credit, because you have acquired an ICAO ATPL theory level of knowledge.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The credit must be approved by the state issuing the licence. The credit recommendation may be made by any EASA ATO. The exam pass validity deadline applies to the issue of the CPL and IR. Licences can be issued only by the state which holds the medical records and a licence cannot be issued unless a valid medical certificate is held. It might be too late to complete the transfer of medical records from Germany. A transfer at this stage will leave your candidate exposed in the event of irregularities in the application or where medical problems warrant additional consideration. Is it not more prudent to select LBA as the state of licence issue followed at a later stage by a change of state of licence issue to Sweden?

According to FCL.025(c)(iii) the validity period “shall be counted from the day when the pilot successfully completes the theoretical knowledge examination” so the deadlines for the issue of the CPL and IR ought to be mid-month, based on the completion date you gave. However some authorities, eg Transport Malta (* Q6), set the deadline to the end of the calendar month.

Further, there might be some difficulty transferring medical records from Germany if the initial medical certificate was issued before Jul 2016. From an archived UK CAA webpage (link)

Please note: The UK CAA has been advised by the German Authority (LBA)
that, due to German national law concerning Data Protection, the LBA
are unable to facilitate the transfer of pilot medical records from
Germany to other States. It is therefore not possible to proceed with
transfers of State of Licence Issue from Germany (LBA) to the UK (UK
CAA). The only exception to the above may be where the LBA does hold
the complete record for a recent applicant (after July 2016) and can
make the full record available and provide a transfer form properly
verified and signed by a medical assessor of the LBA.

See also European Ombudsman Decision in case 1277/2016/SNA, decided on 16 Dec 2016 (link).

London, United Kingdom

To answer Peter’s question, ICAO ATPL conversion to EASA is indeed possible. For example, here is the IAA guidance:

In the OP’s case, the conversion is to EASA CPL which requires current and valid ICAO CPL privileges including type or class rating. Here are the conversion training pre-requisites and training plan requirements from Transport Malta: local copy

We do a lot of these here in Malta.

Hello @ABCD:
Approval of an ATO training plan by one authority could not be relied on for licence application to another authority.
If your student intends to make the licence application in Sweden, given his tight timescale, he could speak with the Swedish Authority asap and confirm if they will accept the training and the exams as valid if the medical records transfer process has been started but even if it is not completed before 15 Sept.
Or, per your alternative plan, you would need to submit the ATO training plan asap to the LBA, gain their approval, compete the training and skill test, and make the licence application prior to the exam expiry date. In both cases, close communication and approvals in writing (emails etc.) would be prudent :) , as I’m sure you know.

The above advice provided without prejudice; I have no idea of the timelines for transfer of records, training plan approval etc. with other authorities. You would have to decide on the lowest risk strategy! Best of luck.

Last Edited by NeilC at 01 Aug 14:10

This is interesting!

I got the FAA CPL (have a CPL/IR) because at the time, 2007 timeframe, and prior, there were always ways to get a Euro equivalent via some route. EASA killed these off for private pilots, however. From the above link:

There is no automatic conversion of an ICAO Annex 1 compliant ATPL to an EU Part-FCL ATPL. However, there are training credits which may be given to the holder of an equivalent non-EU licence, towards meeting the Part-FCL licence requirements.

There are 14 EASA ATPL theory exams.

So, you still have to pass the 14 exams (which for a serving ATP will be total BS) but you don’t have the bum-on-seat time to do.

The Maltese CPL conversion looks similar.

It’s something, but it is really tiny.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

NeilC wrote:

Approval of an ATO training plan by one authority could not be relied on for licence application to another authority.

Interesting, I knew a few people around here who trained in Swedish DTOs and got Danish PPLs.


What amazes me is that even for an experienced heavy jet ATP there is no way around the 14 “ATPL” exams.

Such an attachment to this near-absolute utter drivel, just to pretend that the European system is somehow magical. Especially as the worst pilots out there – example – have all got 100% in those exams.

Here, search for “Part 25”, is a mention of a previous route which would have been entirely reasonably. That writeup is now out of date re the CBIR route but it is fun to read, for an example of how Europe continually screws itself into the ground.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Peter I know of a couple of EU ATP citizens who got caught in the SOLI paperchase who are booking three months off to plough through this treacle of exams.

The only advantage being EASA doesn’t require an ATP check ride (technically carried out by a training captain on an LPC), or the customary three or four hours of oral exam before the check ride. I can imagine some examiners in certain EU countries applying excess rigour if an oral exam was required. In effect the 14 exams are a filtre producing fATPLs who are probably un prepared for an ATPL oral.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Got an e-mail from Swedish CAA today saying the medical transfer to Sweden has to be completed and medical from Swedish CAA issued before reduced training can be approved.

They recommended me to contact German LBA for the conversion.

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