Train to become a balloon pilot with an approved instructor.

You need a licence to be able to fly a hot air balloon, as it is a licensed aircraft.

From April 2020, new students will train for the EASA Balloon Pilot licence.

Balloon Pilot’s Licence (BPL)

To train for your Balloon Pilots Licence you must register with a Training Organisation, which in the UK is the BBAC.  The Training Organisation coordinates instructors for flying and theory training and keeps all the records in order. At the end of training, you will receive your Course Completion Certificate and can apply for your BPL.

The requirements for the EASA Balloon Pilot’s Licence are:

  • Hold a LAPL or Class 2 aviation medical
  • Train with a minimum of 16 hours flying experience in balloons up to size 120,000 cubic feet. This must include:
    • At least 12 hours flying with an Instructor
    • At least 10 inflations and 20 take-off and landings
    • At least one solo flight of 30 minutes or more
  • Take 6 written examinations. These are:
    • Four papers common with other general aviation
      • Air Law
      • Human Performance
      • Meteorology
      • Communications
    • Balloon Navigation
    • Balloon Systems (which is actually four sub-papers, but sat as one whole paper)
  • Pass a Skill Test (often referred to as a “checkout”)

Learning begins the day you get your licence

To start your journey to getting your balloon licence, you need be a member of the BBAC and to register with the BBAC Training Organisation – via the club’s membership system. We also advise you join your local BBAC affiliated region or club. You can find your closest club on the affiliated organisations page. If you have any questions about training, either message us on our Facebook page or email us at