14-Feb-2021 Source: The Aviation Centre
When the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020, the UK ceased to form part of the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This left UK-licensed pilots in the frustrating position of only being able to fly UK-registered aircraft. Mallorca’s The Aviation Centre has the solution.
“Although the Civil Aviation Authority will now assume all of EASA’s functions, it doesn’t solve the geographical restrictions imposed on UK-licensed pilots,” says Stewart Jones, Owner of The Aviation Centre based at Son Bonet Aerodrome in Palma. “When the UK was part of EASA, pilots were able to fly any European-registered helicopter. Now the UK is considered as a ‘third country’, that door is now firmly closed. Licences issued by the UK will no longer be valid in EASA member states, forcing pilots to go through a conversion process with additional training and exams.
“Naturally, we saw this coming and, thanks to an affiliation with Transport Malta, we are fully authorised to host private and commercial training here in Mallorca – for new pilots and those who need to do a conversion in order to fly a European-registered helicopter. Requirements depend on the hours held, but they include passing ground exams, an EASA medical examination, an IACO English language proficiency test and additional flight training. The Aviation Centre can handle all of this. And, once qualified, our students can go and fly anywhere in Europe.”
With five helicopters at their disposal, and a warm friendly team of multilingual instructors, The Aviation Centre is among a very small handful of establishments who can do the PPLH, Type Rating Conversion, Air Transport Pilot Licence ground school (as the Spanish satellite of Bristol Ground School), CPLH exams, and CPLH flying course – all in the same place. Meanwhile, Mallorca offers incredible scenery, favourable flying conditions and is, under normal circumstances, directly accessible from dozens of major European airports.
Editor note – Although not specifically stated by The Aviation Centre, this facility is through their approval under the company name MH Helicopters according to this Transport Malta document (dated 27 July 2020) which currently lists them as the first (and so far the only) Approved Training Organisation for Helicopters
Chief Flight Instructor Neal Spurrell and Owner Stewart Jones