There is a bewildering variety of pilot licences, each granting different types of rights: what type of aircraft a pilot can fly, how far they can fly it, etc. Some are for professional and commercial flying, while others authorize one to fly for fun. Let’s look at the breakdown of four main licence types available – PPL/CPL/ATPL/MPL – and see if there is anything of interest to you.
Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
PPL ‘Private Pilots Licence’ is an introduction to aviation. This licence entitles you to fly a single-engine piston aircraft (like Cessna, Cirrus, Piper etc.) privately for non-commercial purposes. It’s the foundation where you can build experience and knowledge while traveling on holiday or on business trips. It’s a great way to avoid crowds and traffic holdups as well as enjoy the bird’s-eye views! Later, you might want to continue your training in general aviation aircraft and obtain additional rating and/or pilot licences, opening up further opportunities.
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
If you were previously a Private Pilot and you go for a CPL, you are now in the process of becoming a professional pilot. Having endorsed your CPL with Type Rating, you are allowed to be a pilot on multi-crew air transport aircraft, like Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, and get hired by airlines turning your passion into a career. However, a pilot with a CPL license and a completed ATPL theory can become a commander on a multi-crew aircraft only after collecting 1500 flight hours or according to the company policy. At this point, the previously completed ATPL theory is unfrozen.
There are two ways of obtaining the CPL: integrated and modular. Although the paths differ significantly, the licence they lead to is exactly the same. The modular route offers greater flexibility as the course is built around your needs, which leaves you room for planning your personal time and finances. In contrast, the integrated route requires you to undertake uninterrupted and highly-intense learning. There are pros and cons to both, so you should think carefully about what precise aims you are pursuing. If it is finishing the studies fast, the integrated works best. On the other hand, if you would like to have a part-time job while training and a possibility to pay in installments, the modular taking up to 36 months will cater to your needs.
Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL)
Airline Transport Pilot License is the highest level of aircraft pilot certification. To become a Captain with an Airline, a pilot will need to have an Airline Transport Pilot License. As it was mentioned previously, the CPL can be transformed into a fully-fledged ATPL after a pilot meets at least 1500 flight hours (or according to a company policy) to be eligible to take the ATPL check (practical test) provided that they have previously completed an ATPL theory.
Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL)
The MPL allows a pilot to exercise the privileges of a co-pilot in commercial air transportation on multi-crew aeroplanes. From day one of the MPL pilot training, students belong to a particular airline and are fully exposed to that company’s SOPs as it is an airline-dedicated professional pilot licence program with a specific airline and aircraft training syllabus. While other pilot training programs, such as ATPL and CPL, are nowadays commonly upgraded and updated to include this competency concept, for MPL, it’s always been its backbone. Also, a substantial part of the training is done in simulators instead of smaller aircraft, where it is possible to simulate certain events and practise threat and error management.
As you can see, there are multiple pilot licences and respective types of training. Choose yours depending on your goals, needs and financial situation. Whatever you decide to do with your pilot license, opportunities abound. There are countless aviation careers available to licensed pilots. The more licenses and ratings you have, the more options you have. Do not hesitate to contact us directly so we can give you valuable advice and tell you more about how our pilot training courses can help you achieve your dream.