“Our destiny is not written for us, it’s written by us” — Barack Obama

Process to become a Pilot

Eligibility to become a Commercial Pilot

  • minimum of 17.5 years
  • 12th Pass with Physics and Mathematics or equivalent
  • proficiency in English language
  • medically fit by an approved DGCA empaneled doctor

Once the above conditions have been met, the candidate can enrol with a Flight Training Institute. At the institute, the student undergoes a minimum of 200 hours of flight training. Most of this flight training is done on a single engine training aircraft. For job prospect point of view, to train for a minimum of 15 hours on a multi engine aircraft and get a ME endorsement. The student is also required to clear five DGCA theoretical exams, namely

1 Meteorology


3Air Regulation

4Technical- General

5Technical- Specific

In addition to this the candidate also has to clear a Radio Telephony (RTR) exam conducted by WPC. On completion of above requirements, DGCA issues a Commercial Pilot License to the student.

In the current times it is been observed that the most of the candidates choose to join Flight Training Schools in a foreign country. The Indian DGCA recognises a CPL issued by any International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) member countries- almost all the countries of the world are member of ICAO. After successful completion of training in a foreign school, the student shall be issued a CPL by the Aviation Regulatory Authority of foreign country. Every country has its own prerequisites for issuance of a CPL. It is very important that the candidate confirms that the foreign CPL requirements meet the Indian DGCA requirements. Two of the major DGCA requirements to be met are to have minimum 50hrs of Solo Cross Country flying and 50hrs Pilot in Command (PIC).

On returning to India, the candidate has to convert the foreign CPL to DGCA CPL. The conversion process involves clearing of two theoretical exams by DGCA namely, if not cleared before joining the foreign school:

1 Composite (combination of Navigation and Meteorology)

2 Air Regulation

3Radio Telephony (RTR

4Skill Checks- 8 hrs flying

On completion of above conversion process and on the basis of the foreign CPL, DGCA issues an Indian CPL to the student.

Once the candidate is issued an Indian CPL, he/she can apply for a job at an airline or company. As an inexperienced and low time pilot, the initial job that a candidate can apply is the position of a a €˜trainee first officer or a €˜junior first officer. It is very important to realise a fact that as an Indian citizen, the candidates first job has to be in India.

In India the vacancy for the post of €˜trainee first officer€™ or a junior first officer€™ is generally offered under two eligibility criteria

1CPL: under this the vacancy is open to Indian Citizens holding an Indian CPL, no experience required.

2ATPL with experience: the candidate needs to have an ATPL with al teast 1500hrs of flight experience.

3Type Rated: under this the vacancy is open to Indian Citizens holding an Indian CPL with Type Rating on the mentioned aircraft, no experience required.