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PPL Air Law exam

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

The UK Private Pilot's Licence (PPL) Air Law exam is a crucial part of the process for obtaining a PPL, which allows individuals to fly small, single-engine aircraft for leisure or personal travel. The exam covers a range of topics related to aviation law and regulations, as well as operational procedures and safety considerations.

To take the UK PPL Air Law exam, the candidate must visit a Declared Training Organisation (DTO) or an Approved Training Organisation (ATO). This is likely to be the same place where you take your flying lessons. Candidates normally self-study for the exam and take it when they feel ready, though flying clubs offer one-to-one tuition if you are finding a particular subject difficult. This is normally the first exam taken by student pilots as most flying schools require the candidate to pass this exam before they will allow them to fly solo. It is not a legal requirement to have passed the exam before a solo flight, but it ensures that the student is serious and has understood the basic rules of the air, which they may need to put in practice when flying alone.

To prepare for the PPL Air Law exam, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the relevant legislation, including the Air Navigation Order (ANO) and the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) publications. These documents outline the rules and regulations governing the operation of aircraft in the UK, including requirements for pilots, aircraft maintenance, and air traffic control.

One key area of focus in the PPL Air Law exam is the rules and procedures for flying in different types of airspace. This includes knowledge of the different classes of airspace, such as controlled, uncontrolled, and special use, as well as the requirements for entering and exiting each type.

Another important topic is the regulations surrounding the operation of aircraft in different weather conditions. This includes knowledge of the UK VMC minima and any additional restrictions placed on the licence holder, as well as the procedures for flying in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) or visual meteorological conditions (VMC).

PA28 Taxiing

In addition to these technical topics, the PPL Air Law exam also covers more general issues related to aviation safety and security and general procedures. This includes knowledge of ICAO Annex 17: Aviation Security, the UK Air Navigation Order (ANO) and the AIP. The candidate should also have a working knowledge of aerodrome signs and signals, altimeter setting procedures, airworthiness requirements and PART-FCL licencing requirements.

To pass the PPL Air Law exam, candidates must demonstrate a thorough understanding of these and other relevant topics. This typically involves completing a course of study and passing a written exam, as well as demonstrating practical skills and knowledge through flight training and other practical assessments.

How many questions are in the Air Law exam?

Woman studying for the PPL Air Law exam

The exam consists of 16 multiple choice questions which must be answered in 35 minutes. The pass mark is 75%. It is taken on a computer at the flying school via the CAA's online exam system.

What happens if I fail the exam?

If you fail the exam you will receive a list of subject areas for which you answered a question incorrectly. This is known as a Knowledge Deficiency Report or "KDR". The CAA does not specifically tell you which questions you answered incorrectly because the question database and correct answers cannot be released into the general public. Instead, a syllabus reference is given which you can cross check with the CAA learning objectives.

What are the UK Air Law exam learning objectives?

You can view the Air Law learning objective list in the PDF document below.

Air Law Learning Objectives (Aeroplane and Helicopter)
Download PDF • 647KB

Typical Air Law exam questions.

Air Law is a wide-ranging subject and therefore it has the largest question range of all the PPL subjects.

Here are some examples to give you an idea of what is expected of the candidate:

1. What is the minimum horizontal separation from cloud for a PPL (A) holder when operating VFR in Class E airspace below FL100?

a. 1,500ft


c. 1,500m

d. 2,500ft

2. A runway's Landing Distance Available (LDA) is defined as:

a. TODA minus Clearway

b. TORA plus Stopway

c. TODA plus Clearway

d. TORA plus Clearway

3. What is the best definition for The Transition Level:

a. the lowest flight level available for use above the transition altitude

b. a level published for the aerodrome in the ENR section of the AIP c. a level calculated and declared for an approach by the Pilot-in-Command d. the highest available flight level below the transition altitude that has been established

Correct answers: (1.c 2.a 3.a)

Other typical questions:

  • What is the minimum age for obtaining a Private Pilot's Licence in the UK?

  • What is the minimum safe altitude for flying over a congested area of a city, town, or settlement?

  • Which categories of airspace require clearance to enter?

  • What is the requirement for maintaining a sterile cockpit during critical phases of flight?

  • What is the requirement for obtaining a Class 2 medical certificate?

  • Which services are provided by ATC to pilots operating VFR?

  • What is the requirement for carrying hazardous materials on board an aircraft?

  • What is the requirement for obtaining permission to fly over a prohibited area?

  • Which class of airspace is typically found around airports and is controlled by air traffic control (ATC)?

  • What is the minimum age at which a person can hold a Private Pilot's Licence?

  • What are the requirements for carrying hazardous materials on board an aircraft?

  • When should the local QNH be used?

We offer a large database of highly realistic questions for the Air Law exam. Click here to purchase.

Tips for the PPL Air Law exam.

Here are a few tips that may help you prepare for and pass the UK Private Pilot's Licence (PPL) Air Law exam:

Familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation.

The PPL Air Law exam covers a wide range of topics related to aviation law and regulations. To prepare for the exam, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the relevant legislation, including the Air Navigation Order (ANO) and the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) publications. Make sure to read and study these documents carefully, and familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations governing the operation of aircraft in the UK.

Make use of study resources.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the PPL Air Law exam. Many flying schools and training organisations offer structured study programs, including textbooks, practice exams, and online resources. Make use of these resources to help you build a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding.

Our highly acclaimed online course, Bitesize Online Ground School covers the UK Air Law exam and the eight other exams in detail giving you everything you need get a high score and pass on your first attempt. The course is written by a CAA flight examiner who sees the real exams day-in day-out. It works on any device too so you can study on the go! Check out the video below to Bitesize in action. Click here to purchase.

Practice test-taking skills.

The PPL Air Law exam consists of a written test with multiple-choice questions. To help you prepare for the exam, try practicing your test-taking skills by completing sample exams or practice questions. This can help you become more familiar with the format of the exam and improve your speed and accuracy in answering questions.

Practice exams for the PPL

Our practice exams are pitched at the same difficulty as the CAA exams so there will be no surprises come exam day. In addition to covering all nine of the theoretical exams, they also produce CAA style Knowledge Deficiency Reports and statistics about your performance over time. Click here to learn more.

Review the exam content regularly.

It is important to review the exam content regularly as you prepare, rather than trying to cram all your studying into a short period of time. By reviewing the material consistently, you can help ensure that you retain the knowledge you have gained and are better prepared for the exam.

Seek help if you need it.

If you are struggling to understand a particular concept or topic, don't be afraid to ask for help. Your instructor or other experienced pilots may be able to provide additional clarification or resources to help you better understand the material. We offer a free

"ask an examiner" facility for all of our users. This allows you to contact an examiner and discuss any topic that you are struggling with.


Overall, the UK PPL Air Law exam is an important step in the process of becoming a private pilot, and requires a strong foundation in aviation law, security and safety considerations. By preparing thoroughly and demonstrating a high level of knowledge and skill, individuals can successfully earn their PPL and begin exploring the skies with confidence and competence.


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