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What is a Commercial Pilot?

A commercial pilot is one who flies aircraft used by people in travelling from one place to another. He is required to have a CPL (Commercial Pilot License) with him and a prerequisite of 200 hours of flying before he can be hired by an airline. The job profile of a commercial pilot includes several responsibilities, for instance, flying an aircraft, fixed schedule flights, conducting rescue operations whenever needed, and flying in case of an emergency.

It is a highly specialized field of work where one should have rigorous training and high skills as numerous risks are involved in flying an aircraft. One must have deep knowledge of areas involving air navigation, and should be able to efficiently work on elaborate and sophisticated electronic systems in an airplane.


Cost of getting a Commercial Pilot License in India

It is tremendously important that he/she is able to effectively interpret and read meteorological reports. These above-mentioned skills are all integral parts of a pilot’s job but most of all is required mental strength so that he can pivot and lead an aircraft out of an adverse situation. The pilot must be disciplined, punctual, patient, and dedicated to his/her job

Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

It is a license that permits an individual to serve as a pilot in a commercial aircraft. The future of a Commercial Pilot License holder is immense with the increase of globalization and privatization of the economy. There is no dearth of opportunities as more and more airports are inaugurated regularly, the number of flights has been on a rise, and people are traveling more frequently nowadays. CPL isn’t a diploma or a degree but a certificate license mandatory for pilots. There are three categories of licenses, the student pilot license, the private pilot license, and the commercial pilot license. To become a commercial pilot, an individual needs to mandatorily complete flying for over 200 hours. The individual should have crossed the threshold of 18 years and have completed his 12th with the subjects Mathematics, Physics.


Eligibility Criteria

  • The initial requirement for an individual who is aspiring to be a commercial pilot is for him/her to be at least 18 years of age.
  • A candidate needs to qualify two sets of medical tests in order to be eligible for the commercial pilot license
  • He/ she must have completed intermediate with compulsory subjects of Mathematics and Physics.

In India, there are many pathways to obtaining a commercial license for a pilot. The first way could be that an individual completes the requisite flying hours and then sits for the licensing exam. The second and quite popular pathway would be to enroll in a flying school which would not only help with completing the flying hours but also help in preparing the candidate for the exam. Before chasing the license, one needs to medically prove that he/she is physically and mentally fit for flying. There is an aptitude test that is essential to pass so that one can get enrolled in a flying school.


There are two ways to go for a commercial pilot license. These are:

First way

This is the conventional method for being a pilot. First of all, one has to follow a process starting from getting an SPL (Student Pilot Licence), then PPL(Private Pilot Licence), and finally the CPL(Commercial Pilot Licence) . This whole process would cost one around INR 40-50 lakhs on an average. After getting your CPL, one needs to get himself or herself type rated for a particular aircraft like Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 before joining any Airline. Again, it would additionally cost around INR 15–25 lakhs. So, before joining a job as a First Officer in any commercial Airline in India one needs to spend approximately 65–75 lakhs rupees.

Second way

This is the modern and more efficient way for becoming a commercial pilot. Yes, I am talking about the Cadet Pilot Program. Currently, In India, there are two airlines that run the program, namely, Spicejet and IndiGo Airlines. What one has to do is apply for the program and if one gets selected then the concerned Institute will take care of every other formality in the path of becoming a pilot. After completion of the course of the Cadet Program, one finally receives a CPL with Multi Engine Instrument Rating. This Cadet Program will cost around INR 1 Crore with everything included (food, accommodation, and books.