# PPL tag, but there is not a Private Pilot License in the US

I know this is harping on semantics, but there is no such thing as a Private Pilot's License in the USA. And while this might be common vernacular, wouldn't it be more appropriate to encourage users to use the correct terminology? I think there is a distinction between license and certificate and the phrase "license" does not appear in any FAA publication. This is just a pet peeve of mine so feel free to down vote, but I think its worth consideration. Tag suggestions might be or .

• Actually, the private pilot's certificate IS a private pilot's licence[sic], as defined by ICAO (if I'm not mistaken, a quick google turned up some documents suggesting this to be true) of which the US is a member state. – falstro Jan 21 '14 at 15:45
• The difference is that ICAO is not a governing body. They set standards, countries provide regulations to try to meet those standards. This might make a good question. – Magnetoz Jan 21 '14 at 16:15
• True, but 'license' is still more common than 'certificate' worldwide, and it doesn't change the fact that a US private pilot's certificate is an ICAO private pilot's license, so saying it's incorrect is a wrong except for the context of the FAA. I just think it's wrong to rename something on an international site to match the terminology of a national governing body. – falstro Jan 21 '14 at 16:31
• I didn't suggest renaming it, or eliminating it. I just think there needs to be a distinction. This also applies to other international tags. I think some sort of synonym would be an acceptable solution. – Magnetoz Jan 21 '14 at 16:41

I agree!

Looking at the questions tagged I actually don't even see one that would really require the tag at all, as the questions are about regulations or training, not the actual certificate.

In fact, I can't really think of any questions that would be specific to a certain type of license.

There are questions about the privilege that a license confers, or the rules about obtaining a license, but those are regulation type questions.

I say that we just remove the tag altogether and make sure that the questions tag the appropriate regulatory authorities regulations or .

If there does turn out to be a need, we should probably just create (along with commercial, atp, etc.) since that would be appropriate world-wide (even the FAA PTS refers repeatedly to "private pilot" without the word certificate attached).

Also, see the Meta question Tags airman-certification and flight-training are inconsistent for thoughts on how certification questions should be tagged.

• Thanks for the link. I will study it. – Magnetoz Jan 21 '14 at 15:18
• private-/commercial-/airline-transport-pilot is fine with me too, complies nicely with the general 'avoid abbreviations'-policy too :) – falstro Jan 21 '14 at 15:50

It's true that there's no such thing as a "private pilot's license" in the FAA's terms, but there is such a thing as a "private pilot" and people ask me about my "pilot's license" because it's simply a more natural term, presumably by comparison to "driver's license".

Outside the US, "certificates" are usually "licenses" and PPL is a very common abbreviation so just removing it completely is probably not the best approach.

Whatever we settle on as the general "pilot's license" or "pilot training" tag, would be a useful synonym at least (see this related question). PPC doesn't mean anything to me in an aviation context.

Finally, if we need to separate private pilot issues from others then we always have the option of something like , , or .

• airline-transport-pilot perhaps, to keep the resemblance to the ATPL? – falstro Jan 21 '14 at 15:48
• I'm not voting for ppc, I was just brainstorming ideas. I could see it used as a synonym, which would help clarify the proper terminology. – Magnetoz Jan 21 '14 at 15:59
• @roe Yes, that could make sense, I added it to my answer – Pondlife Jan 21 '14 at 16:00
• @Magnetoz That's OK, I understood you were just putting it out there for comments – Pondlife Jan 21 '14 at 16:04
• @Magnetoz; only problem I see is, it isn't proper anywhere but in the US. Whereas calling it a license is at least sorta proper in the US too (by ICAO association if nothing else), as well as proper everywhere else – falstro Jan 21 '14 at 16:05
• @roe, a user in the US who wants to further research Pilot "Licenses", will have a hard time finding that information in the regs and elsewhere. My concern would be to somehow link the "License" terminology to "Certificate" so that questioners get the most precise answers. I realize this is an issue specific to the USA, but it seems a lot of effort is being had to provide answers specific to region. – Magnetoz Jan 21 '14 at 16:12

As far as I know, PPL is a an internationally accepted moniker. I haven't done any research into whether a ppl tag is appropriate for any of the questions, but the fact remains there is a PPL pretty much everywhere (at least colloquially in the US, it's not uncommon to refer to a private pilot's certificate as a private pilot's license), as it is the name defined by ICAO. I don't think "private pilot's certificate" is used anywhere but the US, though. Calling this 'correct' terminology is, in a majority vote, probably wrong.

So either keep PPL, or get rid of it, but in my humble opinion, I don't think there should be a PPC tag. That said, I have to agree with Lnafziger that I can't really think of any questions where the tag would be appropriate, so probably better to remove it altogether.