How to Become a Commercial Pilot in India: The Complete Guide

Do you want to become a Commercial Pilot? If yes, this article will be of help to you. This career guide has been crafted keeping the needs of pilot training aspirants in mind. This guide covers details such as steps involved in becoming a pilot in India, eligibility criteria, training fees and training institutes (flying schools).

Commercial Pilot

It is not uncommon to see young kids nurturing the dream of becoming a commercial pilot. Do you know why this career is so appealing to Indian students? This career is exciting and glamorous. Experienced pilots are also paid well.


In short, it is an exciting and financially rewarding profession. Let us check out the steps involved in becoming a commercial pilot in India –


How to Become a Commercial Pilot in India: Step-by-step guide

To become a commercial pilot, one must complete flying training from an institute recognized by the DGCA. Institutes where flying training is imparted are known as flying schools.


Flying schools across India offer different flying training programs. Such training programs lead students to various types of flying licenses such as – SPL (Student Pilot License), PPL (Private Pilot License) and CPL (Commercial Pilot License). If you want to become a commercial pilot, enroll for the CPL training program.


You must have passed 10+2 Science stream with PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) subjects (minimum 50% aggregate marks) to be considered eligible to join a flying school.


Flying schools conduct an entrance test to select deserving candidates. Candidates who clear the entrance test are subjected to physical and medical tests. Candidates who clear the above mentioned stages are allotted seats.


In short, you must be academically sound as well as medically fit, if you want to get admission in a reputed flying school. Let us check out the steps in detail –


Step 1 – Satisfy eligibility criteria

As mentioned before, the minimum qualification required to join a flying school is – 10+2 passed with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Make sure that you satisfy the minimum eligibility criteria. Besides the academic qualifications, make sure that you satisfy other criteria, such as – height, eyesight requirements etc.


Step 2 – Clear the entrance test and medical test

If you are eligible to join a flying school, apply for the same. Fill up the application form and get ready to appear for the relevant entrance test conducted by the DGCA. Appear for the test and score valid marks in it.


After clearing the written test, you will be asked to undergo medical and physical tests under the supervision of a DGCA approved medical officer or examiner. Clearing the medical test will help you gain admission.


Step 3 – Join the flying school and undergo training

Once you join the flying school, you will be provided flight training as well as classroom lectures. To obtain a CPL, you must complete 200 hours of flying. Undergo the training, complete it and clear the tests held by DGCA. This will help you get CPL.


After completing flying training and clearing relevant tests, you will be awarded CPL. Now you may start applying for jobs. But it isn’t easy to land decent jobs just after getting CPL.


It has become (almost) mandatory to get type rating. Type rating is a certification to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training.


Commercial Pilot Training Fees and cost

Flying schools usually charge 25-50 Lakh Rupees for flying training. The figure may vary from one institute to another.


Type rating will cost another 20-40 Lakh Rupees. Type rating expense depends upon the airlines that you want to join.


List of flying schools in India

Here are some of the best flying schools in India –

  • Gujarat Flying Club
  • IGRUA (Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy)
  • Delhi Flying Club
  • Madras Flying Club
  • Andhra Pradesh Flying Club
  • Bombay Flying Club
  • Government Aviation Training Institute, Bhubaneshwar
  • Ajanta Flying Club
  • Madhya Pradesh Flying Club
  • Rajasthan State Flying School
  • Bihar Flying Training Institute
  • Ludhiana Aviation Club
  • Kerala Aviation Training Institute
  • Tata Nagar Aviation, Jamshedpur
  • Orient Flight School
  • Ahmedabad Aviation Academy
  • Tetra Aviation Academy
  • Rajputana Aviation Academy


It is very important to choose a flying school that has adequate amenities, infrastructure, labs, faculty and training facilities. Make sure that the institute you choose has been recognized by the DGCA. Also check – How to become an air hostess in India, how to become a chef & how to become an IPS officer.


Note: Apart from the above mentioned method, you may also become a pilot by joining the IAF (Indian Air Force). Interested candidates may appear for tests like NDA (after 12th), CDS (after graduation) or AFCAT (after graduation) to join the IAF as a pilot!


Within the IAF, one may take on roles such as fighter pilot, helicopter pilot or transport pilot. After serving in the forces for the designated amount of time, one may retire and join the Civil Aviation sector (after clearing relevant tests).

Arun Kallarackal
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