Pilot Licence Experience Rules
Night flying and night operations are a significant part of commercial flight operations. Night flying will therefore often form a part of commercial flight training with specific training objectives and requirements. In many countries the holder of a Private Pilots Licence (PPL) is not required to be able fly at night, but it is an extension that many pilots choose. Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) licence holders are usually required to meet specific minimum night flight experience in order to be eligible for their respective licences.
Each nation will have their own experience requirements and local regulations should be consulted to identify these.
Aviation Operational Rules
In addition to the experience requirements, pilots who fly on night operations face extra conditions and considerations above those required for daylight flying. These may include extra equipment, minimum fuel limitations and weather considerations.
Pilots who fly at night will need to check that they are aware of these rules and any restrictions they place on the pilot or the intended operation. The rules may dictate restrictions on safe heights to be flown, distances allowed away from aerodromes, navigation facilities that must be available and operable and any requirements for alternative facilities such as aerodrome lighting power supply back-ups.
Aircraft Equipment Rules
For an aircraft to be used at night it must list Night Flight/Operatins in its Certificate of Airworthiness or Flight Manual. In addition to this there may be Flight Manual or Rule requirements to carry extra equipment such as navigation lights, position lights, instrument lighting and navigation aid receivers. These items will need to be operable (or at least in accordance with a Mimimum Equipment List) and the pilot will need to be legally entitled to operate the equipment.