Us pilot wanting to work in the UK?

October 12, 2008

I am pursuing a commercial aviation career, and have always wanted to live in the UK. Is there an equivalency between the US FAA's flight training and procedures and the UK's CAA? Can I receive training here and then go work in the UK, or would I need additional training in the UK? I assume as well that I would need to be a citizen to work with an airline like British Airways?

FAA certification is recognised the world over. Licences granted under the FAA regulations are accepted internationally. In some countries, there may be certain procedural formalities to be fulfilled and forms filled out.

You can work in the UK, the same as people from either country (UK and USA) are working in the other. You may need to familiarise yourself with the maps and charts, especially IF and let downs, but nothing much beyond this.

I cannot comment on the citizenship rules regarding flying for British Airways, but I have known pilots from other nations having flown for the commercial airlines in UK.

Comments

3 Responses to “Us pilot wanting to work in the UK?”

  1. Avrilfan on October 12th, 2008 7:35 am

    FAA certification is recognised the world over. Licences granted under the FAA regulations are accepted internationally. In some countries, there may be certain procedural formalities to be fulfilled and forms filled out.

    You can work in the UK, the same as people from either country (UK and USA) are working in the other. You may need to familiarise yourself with the maps and charts, especially IF and let downs, but nothing much beyond this.

    I cannot comment on the citizenship rules regarding flying for British Airways, but I have known pilots from other nations having flown for the commercial airlines in UK.
    References :

  2. Robert A on October 12th, 2008 7:54 am

    Avrilfan you are speaking absolute rubbish. To convert a US licence to UK expect to spent 3-6months study and $30,000
    References :

  3. komandor_pirx on October 12th, 2008 8:06 am

    Procedures are similar – this is why pilots trained for and flying for US, Chinese, or Russian airlines can safely operate in British airspace. This does not mean that an American, Russian, or Chinese can go and just start working in England 🙂

    There are licensing and immigration issues to be considered.

    In order to do any work in the UK, you have to be authorized to do so – like in any other country in the world. A person from England or Mexico can not come to the US and just start working – by doing so he would risk being arrested and deported as an illegal alien. So if you want to work in England you need to research and comply with British immigration laws.

    Similarly, most countries require that in order to operate an aircraft registered in that country, you carry a pilot license issued in that country. So it is OK to fly a US-registered aircraft in England with a FAA pilot license, but to fly a British-registered aircraft you would likely need a British pilot license.
    Each country sets its own rules about converting foreign pilot licenses. European countries used to easily convert US issued licenses – this is why a lot of Europeans used to come to the US for pilot training (it used to be much cheaper to fly in the US). But I heard that things have changed, and it is much harder and more costly to convert US license into a JAA (Joint Aviation Authority – the 'FAA' of European Union) license.

    Last but nor least – countries tend to be protective of their airlines and airline jobs (well, except in the US) – so it is difficult for foreigners to land a job with a major airline, unless the country is experiencing a pilot shortage.
    References :
    personal experience

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