Career as a Commercial Pilot



Seeing those big planes crossing over the sky above make most of the kids and school students dream of flying a plane themselves one day. This is the dream that has and will continue to charm lakhs of young minds. The job of commercial pilot is amongst the most glamorous and exciting jobs in the aviation industry. A lot of dedication, persistent effort, apt training and time are important prerequisites to become a commercial pilot. Extremely rewarding monetary prospects and the opportunity to fly around the globe are amongst the numerous advantages of pursuing commercial pilot as a career choice.

What makes commercial pilots different from the pilots associated with the Indian Air force is that the formers are associated with private airlines that carry passengers or cargo in the airplanes and helicopters they fly whereas the latter get employed with the air force wing of the Indian defense force and are used in various operations associated with surveillance operation, enemy tracking exercises, etc.

Personality Traits

  • Discipline
  • Patience
  • Aptitude for scientific and technical study
  • Responsibility
  • Punctuality
  • Commitment
  • Self-confidence
  • Hard work
  • Stamina
  • Alertness of mind
  • Adaptability to follow difficult time schedules
  • Good team spirit
  • Mental and physical coordination
  • Love for adventure
  • Keenness for travelling to locations around the world

 Apart from the above mentioned qualities, aspirants willing to take up this as a profession for life should be calm, pleasant, compassionate, understanding and technically sound.

Course / Training

In order to become a commercial pilot, aspirants must first successfully pass their class XII exams with science with a minimum 50% marks for registering for a Student Pilot License (SPL). On reaching the age of 16 years, aspirants can then register at a flying club for SPL that is recognized by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the nodal licensing agency of the Government of India. On clearing medical examination, submitting security clearance and a bank guarantee, aspirants have to then clear exam that includes subjects such as Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation and Air Technical. On successfully clearing the examination, the aspirant then obtains a SPL certificate. The next step that follows is the Private Pilot License (PPL). The training for PPL includes 60 hours of flying along with flight instructor, 30 hours of solo flights and five hours of cross-country flying. On successful completion of this training, the aspirant then gets eligible for the PPL exam that consists of subjects such as Air Regulation, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines and Seamanship. Aspirants who wish to appear for this exam must have achieved the desired age of 17 years, along with an educational qualification of 10+2 along and a medical Fitness Certificate issued by the Armed Forces Central Medical Establishment (AFCME). On successfully gaining PPL certificate, the aspirant then gets eligible for Commercial Pilots License (CPL). Candidates have to necessarily undergo a 250 hours of flying. Along with this, the candidates have to undergo a medical fitness test and a written examination that consists of Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical, Planning, and communications in the form of Radio & Wireless Transmission. On clearing the same, candidates successfully get a CPL certificate and they can take up any professional assignment.

List of Institutes for undergrad and post-grad courses in Commercial Pilot

Institute Website
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, Uttar Pradesh
Camellia Group, Calcutta
Government Aviation Training Institute, Bhubaneswar
Karnal Aviation Club, Haryana
Saraswati Aviation Acad, Lucknow
School of Aviation Science and Technology, Delhi
State Civil Aviation, UP Govt Flying Training Center Kanpur and Varanasi NA
Rajasthan State Flying School, Jaipur NA
Govt Flying Training School, Bangalore
Andhra Pradesh Flying Club, Hyderabad
Assam Flying Club, Guwahati NA
Bihar Flying Institute, Bihar NA

Career Opportunities

The employment opportunities in this profession are available in –

  • Government and private airlines (domestic & international)
  • Cargo planes
  • Charter planes
  • Private planes


The starting package of a commercial pilot usually ranges between Rs 10-15 lakhs per annum, depending on the airline one gets employed with. Apart from this pilots are also eligible for other perks and allowances. The compensation for senior pilots with rich experience ranges between Rs 65 lakhs to 1 crore per annum.

Career as a Commercial Pilot
Career as a Commercial Pilot - By : | Date Published : 09-05-2016 | Category : Career Options |
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