Commercial Pilots


The aviation industry in India has two distinct sector: Commercial and Military. Commercial aviation includes passenger airlines and cargo planes, international air services, air taxi and charter operations being major function. Military aviation includes the Indian Air Force and the aviation arms of the Navy and Army.

The Commercial airlines have typical Organisational structure.This includes airlines operations, miantenance marketing and finance divisions.The job of pilot comes under the airlines operation division.

This profession, comprising of Captain and Co-pilots constitutes the highly rated and one of the most adventurous career.Its a specialised job and requires intensive training. This profession demands a lot of time, dedication, patience, sacrifice.

Nature of Work

Pilots fly aircrafts on long and short flights. One hour before take-off pilots check pre-flight plans. These includes the route to be taken and height maintained and also include meteorological information. Pilots have to do complex calculations of take-off and landing and they have to work out the fuel needed for distance to be travelled and height and weight to be maintained.They check equipments and insturment and do briefing to the flight crew.Onflight-pilots have to interpret the data on instrument and control. The most difficult part for a pilot job is Landing and Take-off.Pilots maintains contact with air traffic controls and cabin crew through-out the flight. They also speak at intervals to passengers, giving them information over the public address system on speed and height,details of ground areas they are flying over.duties are shared usually with one co-pilot, After Landing the aircraft is taxied to its final position and engines are shut down by pilots. later they prepare a flight report, noting any problems or instrument difficulties.


Pilot is a profession of discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment and dedication. The job requires a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules, ability to think in crisis, good team spirit etc. Apart from possessing these qualities, the persons willing to take up this as profession, should be calm, pleasant, compassionate, understanding and technically sound.

Professional Courses

  1. Student Pilot Licence(SPL)This is an examination conducted by flying clubs in every State and covers papers in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation Air Technical. It is a theory exam.
    Eligibility-age of 16 years minimum and pass in class X. A medical certificate of fitness, security clearance and a bank guarantee of Rs.10,000 is required.
    Selection-Candidates taking the SPL test have to appear in an oral examination on a fixed day every month, candidates go through a medical test. Air Force Central Medical Establishment(AFCME),Subroto Park,New Delhi and Institute of Aviation Medicine(IAM), Vimanpura Bangalore, are the final authorities for medical fitness.After medical clearance the candidate gets the SPL.Candidates are also required to pass the Pilot Aptitude Test.
  2. Private pilot licence-practical training After getting the SPL the candidate accompanied by the flying instructor proceeds for initial flying training.this is a dual flight, where the instructor or trianer accompanies the learner to teach him the practical aspect of flying. Then the candidate gets his first independent flight normally after about 15 Hour of dual flying . This includes cross country flying. A total of 60 Hours of flying is needed of which 20 hour minimum should be solo and 5 hours cross country.
    Theory Exam-There is a thory examination also, the subjects are: Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines, Seamanship.
    Eligibility : 10+2 and medical fitness certificate from AFCME OR IAM.The age requirement is 17 Years.
    Fees : Flying training is costly. Fees has increase over the years.Approximately Rs. 1000 are charged per hour for flying. Some States do subsidised the rates for the residents of the states. This fees may be revised from time to time.
  3. Commercial pilot licence: A student can get the CPL by doing his flying training for 129 hours to complete 250 Hour of flying.
    Training facilities are available with Flying Clubs in India, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, Raibarelly, UP, Private Academies or Flying School in USA or Europe, Australia, Gulf,etc.
    Education eligibility : XII(physics and Maths), Non-Science students who started flying before jan1,1994 were eligible for 1996 admission. Current PPL Licence needed with flying experience in the last 3 year.
    Eligible Age : 18 years to 30 years.
    Medical fitness- As granted by AFCME, New Delhi/IAM, Bangalore.
    Written Exam - Awritten exam in the following subjects is needed for getting the CPL:
    Air Regulations, aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical, Planning. These exams are conducted 6 times a year.
    Actual flying experience required - 250 hours of total flying time(150 hours of solo, 25 hours of cross country, 10 hours of instrument flying , 5 hours of night flying).
    Further Growth - CPL licence and training as a particular aircraft leads to a co-pilot assignment. Promotion depends as flying experience and vacancies. Co-pilots must have the required numbers of flying hours and licence. A pilot undergoes a never process of training. Proficiency tests have to be cleared almost thrice a year or more depending on the licence category and age of the pilot. The highest among the category of licences is the Air Transport Pilot Licence(ATPL) which allows the pilot to fly any type of aircraft. Licence has to be constantly renewed through passing medical and other tests every six months.
  4. Training of Helicopter Pilots Helicopter pilots need to have Commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence(CHPL). This licence can be aquired by two stages. The Private Helicopter Licence(PHPL) is granted after 40 hours of flying training (15 hours should be solo) and on clesring the written exams of aviation subjects. 60 hours of flying training has to be completed and a written exam has to cleared. Helicopter Pilots find employment with the commercial organisations, Public Sector organisation and other security/protective agencies.

Flying clubs in IndiaSome of the flying clubs imparting training in flying from where SPL, PPL, and CPL, training can be completed are :

Flying Training Institute, Behala, Calcutta Government aviation Training Institute, Civil aerodrome, Bhubaneswar
Karnal Aviation Club, Kunjpura Road, Karnal, Haryana Government Flying Club,Aerodrome, Lucknow
School of Aviation Science and Technology, Delhi Flying Club Ltd, Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi State Civil Aviation, UP Govt. Flying Training Center Kanpur and Varanasi
Mumbai Flying Club, Juhu Aerodrome, Santa Cruz West, Mumbai Rajasthan State Flying School, Sanganer Airport, Jaipur
Govt. Flying Training School Jakkur Aerodrome, Bangalore Andra Pradesh Flying Club Hydrabad airport, Hydrabad

Career Prospects

The demand for skilled, qualified pilots is ever present throughout the world. As the government plans to widen the air services network, the demand for this profession would continue to grow. Nowadays even the corporates are entering this sector, further making this profession an exciting career option. It is estimated that there would be increase in the job position in the near future to improve the existing ratio, which is very low and unsatisfactory at present.

The employment opportunities in this profession are available in government and private airlines (domestic & international), cargo planes, charter planes, private planes.


Jobs in Commercial Pilots
Current Jobs
Past Jobs