Soaring High How to Become a Pilot in India

How to be a pilot in india


The dream of flying high in the sky has captivated human imagination for centuries. For many, becoming a pilot is the ultimate way to turn that dream into reality. In India, a country known for its rich aviation history and a rapidly growing aviation industry, aspiring to be a pilot is not just a dream but an achievable goal. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to become a pilot in India, offering insights into the different types of pilot licenses, training institutions, eligibility criteria, and the path to a successful aviation career.

Types of Pilot Licenses

In India, there are primarily three types of pilot licenses

Student Pilot License (SPL)

  • This is the first step towards becoming a pilot.
  •   Applicants must be at least 16 years old and have a minimum educational qualification of 10th grade.
  •   SPL allows you to undergo flight training with a certified flying club.

Private Pilot License (PPL)

  •    After obtaining an SPL, the next step is to pursue a PPL.
  •    To be eligible for a PPL, you must be at least 17 years old and have completed 10+2 with physics and mathematics.
  •    PPL allows you to fly privately and carry passengers.

Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

  • The highest level of pilot certification in India is the CPL.
  • To obtain a CPL, you must be at least 18 years old and have completed 10+2 with physics and mathematics.
  • CPL permits you to work as a professional pilot, either as a commercial pilot or as an airline transport pilot.

Training Institutions

Choosing the right training institution is crucial for your aviation career. India boasts several prestigious flying schools and institutions. Some of the renowned ones include

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA)

   Located in Uttar Pradesh, IGRUA is a government-run institution known for its CPL training programs.

National Flying Training Institute (NFTI)

   Operated by the GMR Group, NFTI offers CPL training in Hyderabad.

Ahmedabad Aviation and Aeronautics (AAA)

   AAA provides comprehensive training for SPL, PPL, and CPL in Gujarat.

Wings India Flight Academy

   This academy in Hyderabad offers various pilot training courses and has a strong reputation in the industry.

Eligibility Criteria

To embark on the journey of becoming a pilot in India, aspiring candidates must meet certain eligibility criteria

Age Requirement

   As mentioned earlier, the age requirements vary for different licenses, with CPL requiring you to be at least 18 years old.

Educational Qualifications

   A minimum of 10+2 with physics and mathematics is mandatory for SPL, PPL, and CPL.

Medical Fitness

All pilots must undergo a rigorous medical examination to ensure they are physically fit to fly.

Language Proficiency

   Proficiency in English is essential, as it is the international language of aviation.

Flight Training

   Candidates must complete a specified number of flight training hours as per the requirements of their chosen license.

The Path to Becoming a Pilot

Becoming a pilot in India involves a structured process

Obtain a Student Pilot License (SPL)

 Apply for an SPL from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Join a recognized flying club for flight training.

Complete Ground School Training

  You’ll need to undergo ground school training, which covers subjects like aviation regulations, navigation, meteorology, and more.

Build Flight Hours

   Accumulate a minimum of 40 flight hours for SPL, 60 hours for PPL, and 200 hours for CPL.

Clear Written Examinations

   Pass the written examinations conducted by the DGCA for each license.

Medical Examination

   Pass the medical examination conducted by authorized medical examiners.

Get a Private Pilot License (PPL)

   – After meeting the requirements, obtain a PPL, which allows you to fly privately and carry passengers.

Continue Training for CPL

   If you aspire to become a commercial pilot, continue your training with a flying school to meet the CPL requirements.

Clear CPL Examinations

   Pass the CPL written and practical examinations.

Apply for a Commercial Pilot License

   Once you meet all the criteria, apply for a CPL from the DGCA.

Build Experience

  Gain experience by working as a commercial pilot or an airline transport pilot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step to become a pilot in India?

The first step to become a private or commercial pilot is to research your flight training options. Learn and compare available programs offered by flight schools, and pick the best match for your aviation goals.

Which stream is best for pilots?

For pilot training courses, candidates must have qualified 10+2 in science stream with a minimum score of 50% marks. Mathematics and Physics are the mandatory subjects for candidates who want to have a flying career.


Becoming a pilot in India is a dream that can be realized with dedication, hard work, and the right training. The aviation industry in India is booming, providing ample opportunities for aspiring pilots. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can set yourself on a path to a fulfilling and exciting career in the skies. Remember, the journey to becoming a pilot may be challenging, but the rewards of flying high and exploring the world from above are well worth the effort. So, spread your wings and soar high, as the Indian skies await your presence.