Career as a Pilot | Aviation

Pilots can work for commercial airlines or the Military Aviation of India. Separate eligibility criteria exist for each.

Commercial Aviation handles the following:

  • Passenger airlines
  • Cargo planes
  • International air services
  • Air taxi charter operations

Military Aviation includes:

  • The Indian Air Force
  • Aviation arms of the Navy and Army

A surge in FDI in aviation has led to a corresponding surge in jobs. 

The job of a pilot is one of the most rewarding in the sector though it requires:

  • Intensive training
  • Specialised knowledge of air navigation
  • Interpretation of meteorological reports
  • Working of sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls

Eligibility Criteria

There are no pilot courses in India. Usually it’s just study material and exams to pass. The exam is conducted by flying clubs and covers papers in:

  • Air Regulations
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Air Navigation Air Technical


  • Age of 16 years 
  • Class X pass
  • Medical certificate of fitness
  • Security clearance 
  • Bank guarantee of Rs.10,000


An oral test is taken every month, followed by a medical. Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), Subroto Park, New Delhi & Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM), Vimanpura Bangalore, are the final authorities for medical fitness.Once candidates clear the medical fitness test, they get the SPL and need to pass the Pilot Aptitude Test.

Private Pilot License

After SPL, the instructor accompanies the flier to actually teach the practical side of flying. This dual flight lasts 15 hours, though you need to clock in 60 hours, of which 20 hours need to be solo.
Theory Exam Topics:

  • Air Regulations
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Air Navigation
  • Aircraft Engines
  • Seamanship


  • 10+2 and Medical fitness certificate from AFCME OR IAM
  • Minimum 17 years of age  

Approx. Rs. 1000 for an hour of flying.

Commercial Pilot License

Further flying of 129 hours to a total of 250 hours will grant you a CPL.

Education Eligibility : 

  • XII (Physics and Maths)
  • Right now the PPL Licence needs flying experience in the last 3 years

Eligible Age: 18 – 30 years

Medical Fitness: As granted by AFCME, New Delhi / IAM, Bangalore

Written Exam Testing:

  • Air Regulations
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Air Navigation
  • Technical  
  • Planning

The exams are held 6 times a year. 

Actual flying experience required:

  • 250 hours of total flying time (150 hours solo, 25 hours  cross country)
  • 10 hours of instrument flying
  • 5 hours of night flying 

Promotions usually come based on experience and vacancies only. Training never ends though. You must prove yourself proficient through tests thrice a year. The highest licence is the Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) – granting flying privilege to every type of aircraft. The licence must be renewed every 6 months.

Commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence(CHPL) need:

  • The Private Helicopter Licence(PHPL), which needs 40 hours of flight training (15 hours solo) 
  • Clearing 60 hours of flight training 
  • Written exam has to cleared

There is much demand in India for pilots in both private and public airlines. Indian pilots are also sought after abroad, and are well compensated.

The Story of a Pilot

Career Scope & Job Prospects

There is much demand in India for pilots in both private and public airlines. Indian pilots are also sought after abroad, and are well compensated.

Aviation Remuneration

The starting salary of a pilot is high enough: Rs. 40,000 – Rs. 1,50,000 p.m. The pay scale is based on grade level of the positions. Perks for pilots and first officers include benefits such as:

  • Contributory provident fund
  • Gratuity
  • Medical facilities and free / concessional air passage
  • Housing allowance
  • Medical coverage
  • Free / concessional air passage for immediate family and dependents.

Top Colleges/Institutes for Aviation Training

College/InstituteCourses Offered
New Flight Services (India) Ltd, IndoreMech. E. Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (3 years)
Endorsement Courses for CPL Holders (6 weeks)
Flight Despatcher’s Course (12 weeks)
Cabin Attendants Course (4 weeks)
B.A.M.E.C/ Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Licence Training Programme (3 1/2 years)
Blue Diamond Aviation, Pune
Asiatic International Aviation Academy, Indore
Delhi Flying Club Ltd
Indian Aviation Academy, MumbaiPilot Training
Livewel AcademyAirport Ground Services
Air Hostess and Flight Steward
Travel & Tourism (IATA Certified)
Aviation Cargo
Aviation Security Awareness Basic
Hospitality & Customer Services
Pilot Training (MPL)
Flight Depatcher (to be launched)