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VDS - Ultralights or Microlights

The VDS (Volo da Diporto o Sportivo stands for the Italian’s Ultralight or Microlight certificate ULM - Ultra Light Machine certificate), is the national rating that entitles the holder to fly Italian registered multi axes aeroplanes with a fixed wing in the Italian air space. According to the specific agreement in place between Italy and other European countries, the certificate may be used also in other European nations. Once the initial certificate has been issued, the holder cannot bring any passenger on board until the “passenger transport” rating is undertaken. This is an additional rating which requires a minimum flight experience of an additional 30 hours after the initial certificate achievement.

Training schedule

The total duration of the theoretical and practical training is variable and depends on the student availability (generally speaking 3 to 8 months have to be taken into account).

The theoretical part consists of 33 hours of classroom lessons held by one or several instructors. The student will acquire all the required knowledge that will be officially tested at the end of the training course through a theoretical written exam during the final exams carried out by an Aero Club d’Italia examiner.

The practical part requires a minimum of 16 hours training on our Tecnam P92 Eaglet. The last step of the training is the practical skill test which will be carried out by an Aero Club d’Italia examiner. Eventually, the certificate will be issued to the successful candidate! Both the theoretical and the practical exams will be held on the same day, possibly at the Aviosuperficie L’Aquila or at another airfield depending on the examiner’s availability.

Costs and pre-requirements

Get in touch with our office in order to receive the detailed info and costs without obligation! The minimum requirements to be enrolled in the VDS course are:

  • 16 years of age. No upper age limits are in place as long as the medical certificate can be revalidated
  • Medical certificate issued according to the national law DPR 133/2010
  • Police disclosure

If you decide to start your flight training, it is advisable to have your pilot medical examination done at an early stage to confirm that you are fit to fly. Legally, you cannot fly solo until you are in possession of a valid medical certificate.

Revalidation and renewal

The VDS certificate needs to be revalidated every 2 years simply sending the revalidated medical certificate and paying the required fees to the Aero Club d’Italia. Aero Club L’Aquila will assist each club’s member through the process in case of any required assistance!

Additional ratings

Passenger transport

If you hold your basic VDS certificate and your experience is equal or greater than 30 flight hours, you are eligible to enrol for the “passenger transport” rating and enjoy flying accompanied by a passenger during your flights! The course requires a minimum of 3 flight hours with an instructor. Just contact us for further details!


It is the second step toward the “advanced pilot” certificate. You will learn how to properly communicate via an aeronautical radio dealing with the air traffic controllers!

Advanced pilot certificate

If you hold your basic VDS certificate with a passenger transport rating for at least 1 year and a radiotelephony certificate, you are eligible to get an advanced pilot certificate! 8 hours of theoretical knowledge and 5 hours of flight instructions are required in order to get your advanced rating with which you will be finally capable to fly also through controlled airspaces, to and from commercial airports speaking with the air traffic controllers!

I-A561Tecnam P92 Eaglet
I-A561 CockpitCockpit Tecnam P92 Eaglet

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