Become a Commercial Pilot at PTT
A Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) is needed if you want to earn remuneration from flying, and an Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL) is needed to be in command of a public transport aircraft weighing more than 5.7 tonnes or having more than 9 passenger seats (all airliners and a significant number of business jets).
With a CPL alone you will be able to fly in roles such as aerial survey, crop spraying, parachuting and flight instruction (subject to holding a valid Flight Instructor (FI) rating) in a single engine aircraft.
Should you wish to fly ultimately fly airliners, business jets you will need to complete the ATPL theory examinations, a multi engine rating and an Instrument Rating (IR).
After completing your PPL there are a number of steps towards your final goal of a CPL, or a ‘frozen’ ATPL (CPL Licence but with all the ATPL exams completed, just waiting for your experience to build to unlock the final licence)
- Hour building after initial PPL, this can include some solo PIC time after qualification, then courses such as night rating (5 hours) and IMC rating (20 hours) to improve skills whilst gaining experience. See our Additional Ratings page for more information (link)
- Take the multi engine rating (need 70 hours PIC before starting course) also on our additional ratings page (link)
- Start study for the 14 ATPL theory exams (see below). These must be completed before starting the CPL Flight Course.
- Take the Instrument Rating (IR) course either before or after the CPL depending on your prior experience
- Completing the ATPL theory exams will give you credits towards the IR exams
- If you are low on hours but have completed your exams, the IR can be used to build hours towards the entry requirement for the CPL
- If you have more flight time experience, doing the CPL first will give you 10 hours of flying credits towards the IR course
At PTT we can guide on you on the best pathway for your circumstances, experience and desired end result. We have flying students studying for their CPL here from all over the world and are recognised as a leading centre for CPL training internationally.
The ATPL Theory Exams
The theoretical examinations consist of:
- Air Law
- Communications (VFR)
- General Navigation
- Communications (IFR)
- Aircraft General Knowledge
- Operational Procedures
- Radio Navigation
- Flight Planning
- Mass and balance
- Principles of Flight
- Human Performance and Limitations
PTT recommend Bristol Groundschool as our approved partners for the ATPL Ground ExamsREAD MORE »
The Instrument Rating (IR)
The IR allows you to fly in poor weather conditions and Class A airspace (above a certain altitude and around many major airports). The course consists of 55 hours minimum training (reduced to 45 if you hold a CPL) of which at least 15 must be in an aircraft and carried out in our Diamond DA42 with G1000 Avionics and digital engine controls, the remainder can be in a simulator.
The IR entry requirements are:
- PPL with night rating (OR CPL OR ATPL)
- Valid medical
- ATPL theory exams completed (otherwise 8 IR exams are to be taken)
- MEP Class Rating
- Minimum 50 hours of cross-country flying as PIC.
For more information on the Instrument Rating please see our specific IR pageREAD MORE »
The Commercial Pilot Flight Course
Once your theory exams are completed, the CPL flight course is really a more advanced version of the PPL, involving longer distances and greater accuracy in flying.
The flight training consists of a minimum of:
- 20 Hours training on a single engine aircraft.
- 5 Hours training on a multi-engine aircraft.
The CPL entry requirements are:
- Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL)
- 150 hours of total time
- 100 hours as Pilot in Command
- ATPL theory exams completed
- Class 1 Medical
- A 300nm qualifying cross country
- Must hold a Multi-Engine piston rating (if completing a multi-engine CPL course)
On completion of your training you would then need to take and pass the flight test with a CAA examiner. It is a necessity to have all the licence requirements prior to taking the CPL skills test.
The Commercial Pilot’s Licence is valid for life, but you need to keep the attached ratings current.