Here in this post, we will go through the steps involved in becoming a pilot in India.
In India, to become a pilot following qualifications are required:
- Complete class 12th in the Science stream (Physics and Mathematics as core subjects). In the case of a non-science student, you will need to pursue the required subjects through the National Institute of Open Schooling or as a private candidate from the respective state board. Minimum 55% marks required.
- Medical fitness certificate from DGCA authorized hospitals.
- Pilot License
Though class 12th diploma is the minimum qualification, airlines prefer pilots with bachelor degrees. So it is advised to take a degree in Science or Engineering before enrolling in a Pilot training academy.
A Bachelor’s degree in Aviation is recommended for Pilot aspirants. To name a few:
- B. Tech – Aerospace Engineering with Specialization in Avionics Engineering
- B.E/B.Tech - Aerospace Engineering
- B.E/B.Tech - Aeronautical Engineering
- B.Sc. - Aviation
- Strong technical skills
- Critical thinking and decision-making
- Good communication skills
- The highly focused and disciplined personality with high-level flexibility
- Mental stability and physical fitness
- Inherent or learned leadership quality
Before admitting to a flying academy, you must prove your physical fitness.
You must hold a current and valid DGCA Class I Aviation Medical Certificate.
To become a Pilot you must get admitted to a flying training academy.
Here are some of the best schools in India:
- Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy
- Bombay Flying Club
- Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology
- Madhya Pradesh Flying Club
- National Flying Training Institute
- Ahmedabad Aviation and Aeronautics Limited
- CAE Oxford Aviation Academy
- Indigo Cadet Training Program
- Government Aviation Training Institute
- Puducherry Thakur College of Aviation
- Government Flying Club
- Orient Flying School
- Institute of Aviation and Aviation Safety
An exhaustive list of all DGCA approved academies can be found here: DGCA Approved flying training academies.
These are the three major licenses to become a commercial pilot.
- PPL (Private Pilot License):
- For flying private jets or chartered jets.
- At least 200 hours of flying experience is required.
- CPL (Commercial Pilots License):
- For flying regional passenger aircraft.
- At least 250 hours of flying experience is required.
- ATPL (Airline Transport Pilots license):
- For flying internal passenger or transport aircraft.
- At least 1500 hours of flying experience is required.
ATPL is the highest level of aircraft pilot certification.
Once you get the CPL, you can get a job as Second Officer or First Officer depending on the airline.
Based on experiences, you can hold the following posts:
- Senior First Officer
Some airlines use the role of Second Officer. This sometimes means a cruise relief pilot (i.e. not sitting at the controls for take-off and landing until their experience levels increase).
The first officer is the second pilot (also referred to as the co-pilot) of an aircraft. The first officer is second-in-command of the aircraft to the captain, who is the legal commander.
A pilot with over 1000 hours on a particular aircraft and a frozen ATPL is considered a Senior First Officer.
A pilot who is in command of the aircraft. Someone with over 1500 hours on a particular aircraft and an ATPL.
To summarize, here are the overall high-level steps:
Step 1: Get a bachelor degree
Step 2: Get a physical fitness certificate
Step 3: Enroll in the flying academy
Step 4: Pass the appropriate Licensing examination conducted by DGCA