Updated on Sep 8, 2022 10:03 IST
Parul Thapa

Parul ThapaSenior Executive Content

The flying or Pilot profession has always been one of the most exciting jobs. On asking flying enthusiasts what is it that excites her/him the most about the course, the commonly received answer was the “thrill” of it. Indeed the thrill and adrenaline are legitimate by-products of flying a plane and almost everyone wants to come out of the training school like Pete “Maverick” Mitchell but to get there, you have to take yourself through months of rigorous training and clock in enough hours to even get a license and proceed through the levels.

What does a Pilot Training Course Constitute?

Lately, pilot training courses have come to the foreground with a surge in the number of applicants. Many young girls and boys want to commandeer planes, commercial, private or military. So likewise, more and more aviation schools and flying clubs have been started across the country. To gain enrollment, you must first pass individual entrance and aptitude tests, after which you must complete multiple levels of pilot training. When it comes to pilot training, there is no traditional classroom instruction; instead, the student is guided through the course via a series of written and medical exams, as well as flight time. After completing each level, the student must start over for the next, and by the end of the course, she or he will be able to fly or at the very least co-pilot an aeroplane.

Licenses Required

Conventionally, the student first gets an SPL (Student Pilot License), then proceeds to a Private Pilot License (PPL) and then finally moves to a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Most schools offer their courses up to the CPL stage with the provision of dropping out after acquiring a PPL. Although, clearing every hurdle and abiding by all these steps can only make you eligible to fly as a co-pilot or 1st pilot. For you to fly as head captain, you need an Airline Transport Pilot's License.

Also Read: Flying/Pilot Training colleges in India

Flying/ Pilot Training - Eligibility

The student has to be at least 16 years of age and have a Class X pass. She or he has to have cleared the fitness test and must have a bank guarantee of Rs 10,000. Checking all these boxes will make the student eligible only for the Student Pilot License. This is followed by an oral test and a Pilot Aptitude Test. Passing all this will get her or him through the college of their choice. To be directly eligible for a Private Pilot License, the applicant must be a minimum of 17 years of age and have passed 10+2 and the medical fitness test from the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME) or Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM). To be directly eligible for the Commercial Pilot License, one must be between 18 to 30 years of age and have studied Physics and Math in their +2. However, the newly revised laws by the Government of India have stated that the CPL is to be granted only with prior 3 years of experience with PPL.

Besides these, if a student has to rise through the levels, starting from SPL, then she or he must complete 15 hours of dual flight time with the instructor. The student must also clock in 60 hours of flying time of which 20 has to be solo and learn lessons on aviation and flying as well. After acquiring the PPL, to be eligible for CPL, there have to be more than 129 hours of flying, making it a total of 250 hours.

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Flying/ Pilot Training - Course Duration

The above-mentioned hours are considered to be the standard norm that a student must abide by. This is also an idealized scenario and in some cases, the student might fail to learn in the stipulated time. This is absolutely acceptable and there should be no embarrassment in taking some more time for mastering the controls. Getting the Student Pilot License is not a very big deal because there is no actual hands-on flying time or experience involved. The task begins soon after the student begins to make her or his way toward the Private Pilot License.

The 60 hours rule, with at least 20 hours solo and 15 hours the dual flying time is set in stone and has to be strictly followed. You can take more than 60 hours as well and in most colleges, the standard fee is INR 1000 per hour. Clearing the eligibility for the Commercial Pilot License is indeed a massive feat. A total of 250 hours of flying time along with 10 hours of instrument flying and 5 hours of night flying is required. And on top of that 3 years of experience with the PPL. Earlier, the course in its entirety would take about one and a half years but with the new rule, an official hiatus is applied so that the student can clock in the necessary hours. 

Flying/Pilot Training - Fees

The fees for the whole course actually depend from college to college. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi charges about 50 Lakhs for the whole course whereas CAE-NFTI (National Flight Training Institute) charges INR 42 Lakh plus Applicable Taxes.

Even GATI (Government Aviation Training Institute) charges about 50 to 60 Lakhs for the completion of the whole course, that is, up to the CPL. Flying Clubs are also authorized to grant pilot licenses and all the well-known flying clubs like Bombay Flying Club or Madhya Pradesh Flying Club, charge about INR 90,000 to 1.2 Lakhs for each semester.

Flying/ Pilot Training - Entrance Exams

Flying/ Pilot Training- Required Skillset

  • Leadership skills
  • Spatial awareness
  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of Maths and Physics
  • Teamwork skills
  • Should have technical information related to aircraft 
  • Quick decision-making ability 
  • Disciplined
  • Calm 
  • Commitment
  • Self-confidence

Also Read: Best flying schools in India: Know the pilot's choice

Flying/ Pilot Training - Syllabus

As it is mentioned above, the pilot training course does not have copious studying to do. It rests on a lot of hands-on practical flying time and instruction. Nonetheless, there is a bit of classroom studying involved as well where the pupils are taught air regulations, aviation meteorology et cetera.

At the Student Pilot License level, the pupils are taught and tested on air regulations, aviation meteorology, and air navigation. At the Private Pilot License level, they are taught and assessed on the above-mentioned topics and plus, aircraft engines and seamanship. Lastly, at the Commercial Pilot License level, they are taught the technical portion and flight planning. They are also assessed on past topics.

Flying/ Pilot Training - Career and Scope

By choosing aviation as a field of work, one gets a lot of added benefits. You can start early, and sometimes, even a Private Pilot License can make you eligible to co-pilot small goods planes. Besides, there are provisions for gratuity, and health and housing benefits.

A pilot and co-pilot's job is to commandeer vehicles carrying goods, people etcetera for military or commercial purposes. So, you can of course pilot or co-pilot planes but also get into the industry as a trainer and instructor. Your work will be to train the students or even to work with the new recruits. Training and instructing also need 3 to 4 years of flying experience but you can come back to the school you graduated from, to teach the students.

Flying clubs are also on the lookout for instructors all the time and a job at a flying club is very respected. Airlines recruit pilots of all nationalities so you can land a job at a national airline as well as an international airline. With a CPL or an Airline Transport Pilot’s License, you are most definitely eligible for a job in the military or paramilitary services.

On top of that, celebrities and socialites need pilots for commandeering their jets all the time so you are directly eligible for that job. Needless to say, jobs in the aviation sector, most importantly, as pilots, are very lucrative. Be it in any role, the starting offer of a co-pilot or pilot is INR 40,000 to 1.5 Lakhs. The numbers only escalate with time and experience.

Flying/ Pilot Training Top Recruiters

Some of the top recruiters are as follows.

  • Indian Airlines

  • Air India

  • Indigo

  • Jet Airways

  • Vistara

  • Spice Jet

  • Air Asia

  • Indian Air Force

  • Personal Charter Planes

Read More:

Flying/ Pilot Training FAQs

Q. What qualifications do I need to be an airline pilot?

A. A candidate must have a Class Xth pass for the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and Class XIIth pass for the Commercial Pilot License. To become a pilot, a candidate needs to qualify for various physical and psychological tests. On qualifying for all the required tests, the candidates are awarded the appropriate flying licence. As per the GOI norms, the CPL will be awarded to those candidates who have experience of 3 years after the PPL.

Q. What is the age required to become a pilot?

A. For the Private Pilot Licence (PPL), the candidates must have attained the age of 16 years and for the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), the candidates must be between 18 to 30 years of age.

Q. Which degree is best for a pilot?

A. The pilot licence requires the right combination of physical and mental strength. Some of the degrees are better suited for understanding the basic functionalities of aerodynamic machines. Some of them are as follows. Degree in Aviation. There are various diplomas which can help the candidates such as  Diploma in Pilot Training from Flytech -   See details here Diploma in Pilot Training from Aeroengineer Vidyapeeth - See details here

Q. What are the exams for pilots?

A. Following is the list of Exam Conducting authorities for becoming a pilot in India Bombay Flying Club - See exam details here Chandigarh University - See exam details here SSAT Exam - See exam details here

Q. Is there any entrance exam for pilot training?

A. There are various entrance exams conducted to recruit candidates for pilot training. Some of them are as follows.
Bombay Flying Club - See exam details here 
Chandigarh University - See exam details here 
SSAT Exam - See exam details here

Q. What is the cost of pilot training in India?

A. The cost of pilot training differed from Institute to institute and exam to exam.  For example, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi charges about 50 Lakhs for the whole course whereas CAE-NFTI (National Flight Training Institute) charges roughly about 10 Lakhs.

Q. What disqualifies you from being a pilot?

A. The candidate can only become a pilot if he or she fulfils all the eligibility criteria such as educational qualification, age limit, physical fitness requirements, healthy mental conditions and physical strength. Anyone of the aforesaid conditions can restrain a candidate from becoming a pilot.

Q. Can a student who has no experience in science apply for pilot training?

A. Technically, a candidate cannot pursue pilot training because they must have studied science as a major. However, students who pass 10+2 with biology or who do not have physics and maths as required subjects may apply to take these courses through the National Institute of Open Schooling's on-demand examinations and then apply for pilot training after passing the exam with a minimum score of 50%.

Q. What career options are open to pilot training course graduates?

A. The professionals are qualified to assume reputable positions such as JCo-Pilot, Commuter Pilot, First Officer, Chief Pilot, Experimental Test Pilot, etc. after completing any of the Pilot Training Courses.

Q. What are pilot training courses mostly focused on?

A. An excessive amount of people are now taking pilot training courses. Pilots are highly skilled individuals with extensive training in flying a variety of helicopters and aircraft types. The three types of training courses offered by pilot training programs—student pilot licence, private pilot licence, and commercial pilot license—are distinct from one another in terms of prerequisites and training requirements.

Q. What skill levels do pilot training courses offer?

A. For the majority of the writing courses listed above, there are numerous offline options that students who are interested in learning more about a certain subject can choose from. Student Pilot Licenses, Private Pilot Licenses, Commercial Pilot Licenses, and many other specialisations are a part of pilot training courses. Most pilot training programmes are offered as certificate programmes.

Popular Flying / Pilot Training Colleges in India

Following are the most popular Flying / Pilot Training Colleges in India. Learn more about these Flying / Pilot Training colleges (Courses, Reviews, Answers & more) by downloading the Brochure.
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Popular Flying / Pilot Training UG Courses in India

Following are the most popular Flying / Pilot Training UG Courses . You can explore the top Colleges offering these UG Courses by clicking the links below.

UG Courses

Popular Flying / Pilot Training PG Courses in India

Following are the most popular Flying / Pilot Training PG Courses . You can explore the top Colleges offering these PG Courses by clicking the links below.

PG Courses

Popular Flying / Pilot Training Specializations in India

Following are the most popular Flying / Pilot Training Specializations . You can explore the top Colleges offering these Specializations by clicking the links below.

Popular Specializations



I want to know about the fee structure at Cloud 9 Air Hostess Training Institute for Pilot Training.



Contributor-Level 7

a week ago

The approximate fee structure for Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma courses offered by Cloud 9 Air Hostess Training Institute fees is Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,50,000.

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