How to Become a Pilot- Cost, Eligibility, Job, Scope 2024

how to become pilot in india

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Since medieval times, we’ve been enchanted by the sky and have always fantasized about touching it. Even today, the foremost mysterious thing for the citizenry is how things within the space and galaxy are and the way things work high there.

It was this simply because of this urge that the Wright Brothers went on to make the primary ever airplane. The burning desire and therefore the never-ending curiosity that humans have for aviation, has forced us to make and find out many revolutionary ideas that have and are changing the course of aviation for the great.

how to become pilot

Among these far-reaching developments is a replacement career that popped up was of a Pilot, an individual who would fly the planes that were being developed. Who knew that this career would become one among the very best paid jobs within the world within 10 years of its establishment as a career?

Piloting a plane has now become one among the foremost as well as sought out and revered professions and is reaping huge benefits.

Many students dream of becoming a pilot but unenlightened of the method, drop their passion midway, and pursue another career whose boundaries are alright defined.

What if we could assist any enthusiastic candidate out there and lend him/her step by step guide for the way to become a pilot?

Therefore, in this article guide we’ll be going through all the essential information a candidate needs to know before he or she starts their career journey as a competent private or commercial pilot. 

Step By Step Guide to Become Pilot in India

how to become pilot in india

To become a pilot in India commercially, a candidate needs to follow the following steps:

Step 1: Obtain a university Education

For those that didn’t find out how to fly airplanes within the military, there are college degree programs available. While a degree might not be required, employers generally prefer pilots with a university education. Airlines tend to prefer applicants with a baccalaureate over those with an associate’s degree.

Majoring in aerospace engineering, engineering, physics, or computing may provide an honest educational foundation for pilots. Airlines prefer applicants who have taken humanistic discipline courses, alongside classes like aeronautical engineering. Flight school classes are typically taught by a teacher who is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Step 2: Gain Flying Hours

According to the BLS, before earning a pilot’s license, a pilot-in-training must log a minimum of 250 hours of flight experience. Pilots may log these hours through the U.S. soldiers, where they’re going to obtain familiarity with many various sorts of aircraft.

Additionally, the FAA licenses flight instructors and flight schools to assist pilots to earn necessary flight experience.

Many pilots begin their careers as flight instructors and eventually become commercial pilots after gaining more flying time and knowledge.

Step 3: Earn a Pilot’s License

After obtaining the required flight hours, applicants 18 years or older can complete the remainder of the wants for a billboard pilot’s license from the federal.

Pilots must pass a physical examination to make sure they need good vision and hearing also as no physical impairments which may interfere with flight performance.

Candidates must also pass a written exam that has safety information and a skills test that’s observed by an FAA-certified instructor.

Step 4: Complete Additional Tests and Training

Depending on the sort of pilot position, additional tests and licenses could also be required.

The FAA offers many various sorts of certification, like airworthiness certificates and medical certificates. Certain airlines can also require their pilots to require psychological and intelligence tests.

Step 5: Work as a Pilot

All pilots must begin somewhere, and major airline companies won’t hire inexperienced pilots. In general, pilots hired at some of the most significant airlines mostly have around 4,000 hours of experience flying commercial planes.

Most pilots employed with airlines work as co-pilots and acquire additional experience through this position.

On the other hand, pilots may also obtain employment in other relevant industries, like emergency services, agriculture, or reforestation. Pilots typically advance with experience.

For instance, some pilots may begin their careers flying charter planes or helicopters before working with airlines. Some start as a flight instructor, which allows them to log hours while continuing to find out and become more efficient fliers.

Step 6: Advance within the Field

Pilots follow a ranking system of seniority. After gaining a few years of experience, typically 5-15 years, pilots at the primary officer rank could also be ready to advance to the rank of captain, as outlined in their contract.

Larger airline companies usually have opportunities for even further advancement, like the director of chief pilot positions.

To become a pilot, a candidate would like to possess the right training, either a degree or through the military, and flying knowledge.

Cost of Becoming a Pilot in India

cost of becoming pilot in india

Well, the value incurred in becoming a pilot in India may be a lethal uppercut to the pocket.

It costs around 45-60 lakhs to become a pilot in India and this cost can go as high as 75 lakhs if a candidate decides for a cadet program. The payment hack is 30-40 lakhs to get the commercial pilot license and 15-20 lakhs for the sort Rating.

And what’s Type Rating? Type Rating is that the training or mentoring an applicant gets beyond the rudimentary school training. This training certifies that the candidate simply is eligible to fly a specific aircraft.

Generally, the fees to be purchased Type Rating increases if the aircraft a candidate would like to coach on is greater and technically superior. So, the cash involved may be a huge hindrance to the applicant’s road to becoming a pilot.

But a bit like big investments pays whopping dividends later, similarly if the candidate becomes a flourishing pilot then the fees which appear to be gigantic now, would seem to be just a small yet cardinal investment in his or her life and education.

Eligibility to Become a Pilot

Eligibility to Become a Pilot

The following are some of the general criteria for qualification to become a pilot that a candidate needs to accomplish to get into the pilot program:

  • The applicant must complete Class XII under the 10+2 system or its equivalent with a minimum of fifty percent marks in maths and physics. 
  • The candidate must be a minimum of 16 years aged to be eligible for a Student Pilot License, 17 for a personal Pilot License, and 18 for a billboard Pilot License. Alternatively, the candidate will directly enroll for the Private Pilot License once he or she has cleared Class XII and are 17 years old. Such a task includes taking an exam which is conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation consisting of multiple theory papers on subjects such as air navigation, aviation meteorology, air regulation, and technical aspects.
  • The candidate’s vision in one eye must be perfect. generally medical terminology, it’s called 6/6 eyesight. Within the other eye, if the candidate has an imperfection of 6/9, that must be correctable to 6/6.
  • General fitness is mandatory. The candidate would want to be freed from any disease which will hamper normal function.
  • The applicant needs to finish the requisite number of hours, clear written papers, and therefore the checkup. He or she would like 70 percentage marks to pass in each of those papers. The candidate will keep appearing until he or she clears them.

A different Route/Way to Become Pilot in India

different way to become a pilot

Apart from that, an eligibility criterion is segregated into the work that the candidate will be pursuing exclusively, are as follows:

Student Pilot License 

There are not any pilot courses in India. Usually, it’s just studying 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
  • Selection

An oral test is taken monthly, followed by a medical. Vimanapura Bangalore, Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME) along with New Delhi & Institute of Aeromedicine (IAM) are the ultimate authorities for medical fitness.

Once candidates clear the medical fitness test, they get the SPL and wish to pass the Pilot Aptitude Test.

Private Pilot License

After SPL, the trainer accompanies the flier to truly teach the sensible side of flying. This dual flight lasts 15 hours, though the candidate would like to punch in 60 hours, of which 20 hours got to be solo.

Theory Exam Topics:

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


  • The candidate should be 10+2 pass and medical fitness certificate should be obtained from IAM or AFCME
  • Minimum 17 years aged  
  • Approx. Rs. 1000 for an hour of flying.

Commercial Pilot License

Further flying of 129 hours to a complete of 250 hours will grant the applicant a CPL.

Education Eligibility: 

  • XII (Physics and Maths)
  • Right now the PPL Licence needs flying experience within the last 3 years
  • Eligible Age: 18 – 30 years

Medical Fitness: As provided by AFCME, New Delhi or 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:

  • Flying time should be a total of 250 hours (150 hours should be solo, 25 hours should be cross country)
  • 10 hours of navigation
  • 5 hours of night flying 
  • Promotions usually come supported with experience and vacancies only. Training never ends though. The candidate would want to prove himself or herself proficient through tests thrice a year. The very best license is the air transportation Pilot Licence (ATPL) – granting flying privilege to each sort of aircraft. The license must be renewed every 6 months.

Commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence(CHPL) need:

  • It should be noted that the Private Helicopter Licence(PHPL), which generally requires 40 hours of flight training (which includes 15 hours solo) 
  • Clearing 60 hours of flight training 
  • The written exam has got to clear
  • There is a very high demand in India when it comes to pilots in both private and public airlines. Indian pilots are also wanted abroad and are well compensated as well.

List of Best flying School in India

List of Best flying School in India

The following are some of the major schools when it comes to guiding pilots:

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA)

How many of the candidates recognize that our Late PM, Rajiv Gandhi before joining politics worked as a co-pilot with Indian Airlines? Yes, this is often a fact and he laid the inspiration stone for IGRUA in 1985.   

One of the foremost prestigious pilot training institutes in the country, IGRUA has the reputation of coaching a number of the simplest pilots within the country.

However, if a candidate thought he or she would simply pay the fee and obtain admission to the present school then he or she is wrong. Candidates are shortlisted for selection on the idea of a two hour written test followed by a pilot aptitude test.

Once a candidate clears these two rounds they’re eligible to seem before an interview panel which consists of representatives from NACIL, DGCA, a psychologist, and IGRUA examiners.

The kind of aircraft that are used for training at this specific institute is TB-20, Zlin, DA-40, and DA-42. 

Courses offered by Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi:

IGRUA is currently an institute that is run by the government which offers courses like ab-initio to Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), provides simulator training as per the specific candidate’s requirements, multi-engine related endorsement, instrument rating for the candidates, CRM workshop for the applicants and MCC course.

Along with that, it provides an ab-initio to Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) course for foreign nationals as per regulatory requirements in their respective countries.

National Flying Training Institute (NFTI)

Established in 2007, NFTI is one of the nine flying schools established by CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, which is one of the simplest flying schools within the world.

it’s located at Gondia in Maharashtra and is additionally sometimes mentioned as CAE Oxford Aviation Academy Gondia.

Other locations within the world where CAE has centers are Oxford, Amsterdam, Brussels, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Perth, Phoenix, and Rae Bareli in India.

NFTI trains candidates on a contemporary training fleet of DA 40 and DA 42.

Courses offered by National Flying Training Institute:

In this college, candidates are generally offered 19-month pilot training programs which mainly comprises ground school courses which are mainly in accordance with rules & regulations as laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Madhya Pradesh Flying Club (MPFC)

This institute generally came into the foundation in the year 1951 and till the year 1982, it was maintained and operated aircraft belonging to the MP government.

The club is additionally known to coach Indian Air Force pilots from time to time. MPFC features a fleet of Cessna -152/A, Cessna -172R, and multi-engine six-seater aircraft P-68C-TC and Baron G58 for training aspiring pilots.

Courses offered by Madhya Pradesh Flying Club:

Candidates can pursue courses like Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Private Pilot License (PPL), Instrument Rating (IR), Multi-Engine Rating, etc at MPFC.

Ahmedabad Aviation & Aeronautics Ltd. (AAA)

Established in 1994, this school operates from its hangars at SV Patel International Airport Ahmedabad and Mehsana Airfield.

AAA as of the current date has five single-engine aircraft Cessna 152/ Cessna 172 along with just one single/multi-engine trainer.

AAA as of the current date has four ground instructors combined with five flight instructors for a batch of almost 70 students.

Courses offered by AAA:

Candidates can pursue courses like Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Private Pilot License (PPL), Instructor Rating, etc at Ahmedabad Aviation & Aeronautics.

Bombay Flying Club

Operating for teaching the students since the year 1928, the Bombay Flying Club is currently affiliated to the Mumbai University and also the DGCA.

It should be noted that the daddy or father of aviation in India, Mr. JRD Tata in February 1929 obtained his pilot license from this school.

The club features a fleet of PIPER PA18, Cessna 152A, Cessna 172, Cessna 172R (glass cockpit-like airlines aircraft cockpit)-Single Engine & Seneca (twin engine) aircraft.

Courses offered by Bombay Flying Club:

This school mainly offers a BSc in Aviation/ Aeronautics degree and aside from this degree, many interested candidates can even plan to receive training in aircraft maintenance engineering and cabin crew training as well.

These are some good flying schools in India. However, most flying courses and Pilot training is extremely expensive to the tune of over Rs 25 lakh. So, the candidate will want to think about taking a study loan for it.

Some excellent news here is that some states within the country like Bihar sponsor selected students to receive pilot training at different state flying schools. So, research well before opting to join them.

Pilot after 12th in India

Pilot after 12th in India

In case the candidate has passed 12th Science, he or she will join a CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) educational program if he or she meets the above mentioned educational and medical standards – especially when it comes to becoming a pilot in India after 12th.

The applicant will approach private institutes, fill forms and obtain started.

Most Pilot Training institutes have a Pilot Aptitude Test, which candidate must clear, urge selected. The Aptitude test may be a 3 stage process, comprising of- written examination, Interview, and therefore the Aptitude Test.

There are subjects within the written exam like- Mathematics, Geography, public knowledge, English skills, etc. this is often followed by an Interview.

Candidates who cleared these two stages are involved in the third stage- Pilot Aptitude Test.

After these final stages, a checkup is conducted. In any case processes, a merit list is ready, supporting the all performance of candidates in each stage of the choice process also because of the checkup.

supported merit, deserving candidates are going to be selected and that they provide pilot training to become Commercial Pilots!

There are different exams that the candidate will appear for (depending on his or her educational qualification), to become a pilot within the Indian Air Force:

After 10+2: Through NDA exam

NDA which is the National Defence Academy exam, this exam conducts by the UPSC. To clear this exam, he/she needs to complete 3 years of training in NDA at khadakwasla, Pune campus.   

This is followed by a flying training section at Air-Force Training establishments. Post this, he or she will be commissioned as “permanent commission officers” and should be posted as pilots at any Air Force station.

Learn more about the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, dates for the NDA exam: UPSC National Defence Academy (NDA) and academy (NA) Examination

Pilot after Graduation in India

Pilot after Graduation in India

As a graduate, the candidate planning to become a pilot after graduation in India will join the flying branch as a pilot by joining the “Air Force Academy” in any of the subsequent ways:

CDSE (for men only)

UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam for admission to either one from the Indian academy / Indian Naval Academy/ Air Force Academy (AFA). After training from AFA, he or she will get a permanent commission as pilots. 

NCC Special entry (for men only)

He or she can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force if the candidate is an Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps (NCC). Only men can join the Air Force through this mode of entry and can tend to a Permanent Commission.

AFCAT (for men & women)

This exam (Air Force Common Admission Test – AFCAT) allows both men & women to urge into the flying branch for brief Service Commission (SSC) i.e. for 14 years. 

Conclusion-Final Thoughts on Pilot as a Career

Well, the chances that open up after a candidate gets that pilot badge are innumerable. There’ll be a different world waiting to welcome the candidate with open arms after he or she becomes a pilot.

With tourism becoming one among the most important contributors to the GDP of each country. The pilots are becoming paid more and more and are becoming the specified recognition as a contributor to the economy.

This is the simplest time to be a pilot, consistent with PayScale the typical commercial pilot salary in India is as high as Rs. 2.3 crores once a year. Those are some astronomical values!

The applicant gets to travel the planet, experience different cultures. Ask new people as a neighborhood of his or her job and therefore the better part is the candidate gets paid a salary to do all this.

If a candidate’s path is to become a pilot and he/she loves flying. Then, they have to get-out, struggle, and make that dream come true. Give wings to the dreams and allow them to soar high.

Don’t let this dream remain merely a dream. Work thereon, day in and out, and make it a reality. It’s true that extraordinary dedication, rigorous practice is required to become a pilot, but remember it’s the acute pressure and temperature that converts charcoal into a diamond.

So now as the candidate is learning wisely and knowledge about how and why one ought to become a pilot is being gained, it’s time to let the efforts drive him or her to realize the goals.

Frequently Asked Question About Pilot Course

How to become a pilot after BTech?

Since the Btech degree equals graduation, one can follow the graduation method to get into the pilot career program. 

How many years to become a pilot in India?

It should be noted that generally, it takes around three years to become a pilot. But, the time frame will depend on the course that the candidate is choosing. 

Is it hard to become a pilot?

No. It’s not difficult to become a pilot. With a little bit of dedication and concentration, any candidate can become a successful pilot. The candidate should only need to be very committed towards his or her pilot career program.

How many hours to be a pilot?

The number of hours training needed to become a pilot in India depends on the type of pilot a candidate is pursuing. For example, the private pilot license wants the candidate to complete 60 hours of training.

How many years to be a pilot?

The general time frame to become a pilot is around three years. But the time could extend depending on the experience. 

What should I study to become a pilot?

Students from the science stream can come forward and pursue the pilot program

How can a girl become a pilot?

A girl can pursue the pilot program just by either opting for the courses after class 12 or after graduation. Once the training is complete, she can proceed forward to become a pilot.

Is there any maximum age to become a pilot?

The maximum age limit to become a pilot is around 60 years.

What age to become a pilot?

The best age to become a pilot would be around 17 to 18 years.

Which subject should I study to become a pilot?

It should be noted that maths and physics are two of the major subjects that a candidate needs to focus upon to become a successful pilot. Therefore, focusing on these two subjects should be the main aim of any applicant.

How much do Pilots earn a year?

The salary of the pilot depends upon the experience. If the pilot has less than 4 years of experience, the salary would be around 1.6 LPA. If the experience is more than 4 years, then the salary would be 2.7 LPA. Therefore, more the experience and the flying hours, the greater will be the salary. It’s all correlated together. 

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