For pilots with a current PPL, CPL, microlight or gliding qualification, military experience, or equivalent listed under CAP722 page 47, most NQE’s will offer a pilot license conversion, which assists a pilot in gaining their drone license (Permission for Commercial Operation).


We'll take you through how to convert a pilot license to a drone license.





In short: yes

As long as you hold one of the CAA listed qualifications or experience, you will be able to convert your license to a drone Permission for Commercial Operation.

In doing so there will still be some training costs involved; however, the course cost is often less expensive as less training is required.


A ‘refresher’

You will go through the CAA Theory Course Syllabus; however, it will be more of a ‘refresher’ due to your background knowledge of air law and principles of flight etc..

You may find that a lot of the topics will be familiar to that of previous training.



Training Modules Include:

  • Air Law
  • Principle of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Airspace
  • Operating Principles
  • Operations Manuals and Risk Assessment
  • Human Factors
  • Responsibilities and Airmanship
  • Navigation
  • Flight Planning
  • UK Low Flying Systems
  • LiPo Battery Storage and Care


Practical Assessment

Although some drone training schools may not require you to sit the Theory Exam, you will still need to demonstrate that you can carry out the operation skills confidently and competently.

The Operational Evaluation will be carried out on your chosen UAV, and a qualified NQE instructor will assess your ability to carry out manoeuvres in ATTI/manual mode, as well as analysing your planning and briefing skills.


Don't forgewt you'll also need insurance when applying for your PfCO, and if you are setting up as a new business there are a number of insurances that you will require.


Check out our article What drone insurance do I need to start a business.






Application to CAA

The process to apply to the CAA for your drone license is the same as any other candidate, as your NQE Training school will recommend you based on the assessments carried out.


Once the submission has been made (usually by your NQE) you just have to wait until you receive your drone license (PfCO) from the CAA via email.

To find out more about our ICARUS Top Up Course (PPL Conversion) Click Here