As a pilot you’ll be flying in UK, and perhaps other nations’ airspace. Some parts of that airspace are under the jurisdiction of air traffic control units, whilst other parts aren’t. The aviation community must be aware of procedures & principles outlined, and abide by them. These rules (or “procedures”) are there to ensure that pilots are safe and responsible whilst flying. This is what the Air Law segment of the PPL course teaches you about.
In the old PPL(A) format, Air Law was combined with Operational Procedures. Hence the overlap between the 2 subjects. This subject focuses on areas such as Rules of the Air, categories of UK airspace, and International Civil Aviation legislation.
Air Law PPL(A) Overview
Aviation is global in scope — so Air Laws apply internationally. Organisations such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) govern regulations and procedures which apply to it’s member countries. Other multinational authorities, such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), have their own local rules, too. Pilots have to know both sets of rules.
The Laws taught in the PPL(A) course also apply to different types of aircraft. After all, PPL(A) Pilots share the air with thousands of fellow aviators — whether they’re flying Airliners, Helicopters, Balloons, Light Aircraft, Military Jets, Gliders, Microlights and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This subject therefore has a general importance to aviation.
Most of the Air Law segment is common sense. You basically have to demonstrate good airmanship. Essentially, the procedures are there for a reason, and you have to prove that you understand them.
By completing the Air Law subject, you will contribute to efficient operations in air traffic, and also ensure that you do not compromise flight safety for yourself or anyone else.
- Due to it’s overlap, it makes sense to revise Operational Procedures & Air Law together and take the exam at around the same time.
- Air Law is one of the first exams taken by student pilots. It usually needs to be passed before the first solo flight.
The PPL Air Law examination has 16 multiple choice questions which must be answered within a 35 minute time limit. The minimum pass mark is 75%.