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Commercial Pilot Training and Licensing (Aeroplane)

Traditionally, there are two routes to become a commercial pilot; in the industry are the “Integrated” and the “Modular” route. The standards, subjects and objectives of both of these routes are identical, set by the Civil Aviation Authority, CAA.

However, the only difference is the modular route is broken into certain significant modules in order to achieve a “frozen ATPL” unlike the integrated route which is a “zero to frozen ATPL” programme.

The intensive integrated route will take approximately 18 months to complete both theory and training. In contrast, the modular route will be less intensive and substantially longer and can be completed in a reasonable time. 

There are various extra challenges that can be faced during modular training such as continuity, keeping license, medicals and checks up to-date , work-life balance, weather or seasonal delays. However, this allows spreading the cost for people who are not in position to undertake the integrated route.

The following are the minimums. For further information, look at the many links which can support you on the Flying Links and the Resources sections of this website 

Modular Route

  • Private Pilot License (Aeroplane) - PPL (A)

Theoretical Exams:

a.       Aviation Law and Operational Procedures

b.       Human Performance and Limitations

c.       Navigations and Radio Aids

d.       Meteorology

e.       Aircraft (General) & Principles of Flight

f.        Flight Performance and Planning

g.       Communications

h.       R/T Practical Examination

Practical Training (45 Hours)

a.       25 hours Dual

b.       10 hour s Solo (including;  5 hours cross-country)

After earning PPL(A):

  1. 100 Hours as Pilot in Command (PIC), Hour Building
  2. 14 Air Transport Pilot License (Aeroplane) - ATPL(A) Theory Exams

a.       Air  Law & ATC

b.       Aircraft General Knowledge (Airframes, Engines, Electrics)

c.       Performance

d.       Human Performance and Limitations

e.       Meteorology

f.        General Navigation

g.       Operational Procedures

h.       Principles of Flight

i.        VFR Communications

j.        Radio Navigation

k.       Instruments/Electronics

l.        IFR Communications

m.      Flight Planning and Monitoring

n.       Mass & Balance

  • Commercial Pilot License (Aeroplane), CPL(A) **

a.       100 hours PIC experience

b.       20 hours Visual Flight Rules (VFR) cross-country as PIC

c.       10 hours Instrument dual training

d.       5 hours Night Flying (minimum 3 hours duel training and 1 hour  of  cross-country navigation)

Integrated Route

As mentioned earlier the standards, subjects and objectives of both of these routes are identical. However, training hours, structure and finance required will vary, depending on the chosen Flight Training Organisation (FTO). Thus, the general structure is the following:

  • Phase 1

ATPL Exams and Basic Skills Training (PPL Level)

  • Phase 2**

Multi-Engine (ME), CPL and Instrument Rating (IR) training

  • Phase 3

Multi-Crew Cooperation, Jet Orientation Course and Simulator training

  • Phase 4

Type-rating: Boeing; B737-400, Airbus A320 etc


**           On completion and passing of these stages, a “frozen ATPL (A)” is awarded. Which, in order to “unfreeze” it pilots are required to build 1500 hours of “PIC” experience. This will lead to further progression depending on which route is taken, e.g. unfreezing while working as a flight instructor will lead to becoming an “unrestricted” flight instructor. 


      Sywtbap Colour


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