How to become a commercial pilot in India?| What is Conventional pilot programme?


This one is all about the Second method to become a pilot in India i.e., CONVENTIONAL PILOT PROGRAMME. For CADET PILOT PROGRAMME i have already given all the information on

How to become a commercial pilot in India?| What is Cadet pilot programme?


● Eligibility::-

1. You should be a citizen of India.

2. You need to be Class 12th pass with Maths and physics or its equivalent. If you have taken Arts and Commerce in your 12th then you need to clear Maths and physics from an open University, the most common University where the most people go is NIOS. It is perfectly allowed and perfectly legal; it will not affect your career in any way in your future. Just passing marks are required for Maths and physics and same for 12th marks.

3. If anybody is doing Diploma, then you should have to give a certificate of equivalence to DGCA which tells DGCA that you are equivalent to 12th pass.

4. You should be medically fit. You should have CLASS 1 Medical certificate to get the license


It is needed at the time when you start your CPL training through any flying institute. This certificate is given by the DGCA designated doctors after full required checkups. List of doctors who does CLASS 2 Medic test


It is done after getting CLASS 2 Medical certificate. It is done by the Air Force initially, it can also be done bymany private hospitals. You can only start your aviation career only after you make sure that you are medically fit. List of doctors or organisations who do CLASS 1 Medical test

5. You have to clear DGCA exams, conducted by DGCA (Directorate general of Civil Aviation). DGCA regulates all the Aviation operations in India. It is the regulatory body of Aviation which works under the Central ministry of Civil Aviation. So, you have to clear the exams and should have experience of 200 hours of flying.

● About::-

It is basically the Candidate personally clears all checks, all examinations, takes training as per DGCA requirements and after passing all the requirements by themselves, they apply for jobs as per vacancies.

● How to get CPL (Commercial pilot license) through Conventional way::-

After passing 12th, you have to prepare for the DGCA examination either on your own or by attending classes. Before sitting in exam you have to apply for COMPUTER NUMBER. It is basically a Role no. Which DGCA provides you for your examination and this COMPUTER NUMBER will be your personal ID for your whole career. It will not change. Then you have to clear the DGCA exams. You can clear the exams after your flying training or before your flying training. Most of the people first clear the examination then go for their practical training. There are five subjects in which you have to clear your exam. These are NAVIGATION, TECHNICAL, METEOROLOGY, AIR REGULATIONS, and TECHNICAL APECIFIC. Exams are all Multiple choice questions. These exams are done at DGCA exam centers. DGCA conducts the exam four Times in a year. Passing marks is 70%.

There is one more exam which you have to clear i.e., the RTR exam which is conducted by WPC, a government body. This RTR examination is conducted every two months i.e., six times in a year. So, all in all we have six exams to clear. Out of six subjects NAVIGATION and TECHNICAL are vast one, you should take classes of these subjects to clear your exams. You can appear for DGCA exams infinite times. There is no limit on how many times you attempt the examination. Exams are valid for five years. So, before five years of clearance of the exam, you have to submit your all peppers to DGCA to issue you the CPL.

Once you have cleared the exam with DGCA, then you should proceed towards
your flying school. After getting admitted in a flying school, your school will issue you a SPL called STUDENT PILOT LICENSE, this license is issued by the flying club itself after the candidate clears their oral or required exams. Basically, this is the license which allows you to fly those small trainee aircrafts.

You have to fly for 200 hours as per DGCA requirement. Out of 200 hours 185 hours
will be done on SINGLE ENGINE AIRCRAFT, 15 hours will be done on MULTI ENGINE AIRCRAFT and there are few more hours which will be done on SIMULATORS. All in all once you clear those requirements, then your flying school will help you to gatherall your documents. You will submit those documents to DGCA, then DGCA will issue you COMMERCIAL PILOT LICENSE. To get an idea about flying schools you must read my other blogs.

After getting your CPL, you are then eligible to apply for airline vacancies, so, after
getting your license you have to wait for vacancies. Meanwhile you can study at home, gain more and more knowledge and you can prepare for something known as ATPL. ATPL is the next higher category of license. It is required when you become a CAPTAIN. So, sit at home and wait for airline vacancies to come. Each airline will always post their vacancies related information in their career section. You should always look through the career section and when vacancies come then apply for it and go through the airline selection process. After got selected you will do your TYPE RATING. TYPE RATING is basically training to learn how to fly bigger aircrafts. TYPE RATING can be done by own before joining any airline or after joining the airline. After doing your TYPE RATING and some other formalities, you will be released as a FIRST OFFICER and you will start your career as a pilot.

● It’s cost::-

It is usually cheaper than the CADET PILOT PROGRAMME. It costs around 30-50 lakhs INR depending upon school and the candidate. It generally takes 2 years to complete. The cost also depends upon the student pilot how better he/she grabs the concept. The faster you grab the concept or learn the skills, the faster you will complete your training and cheaper will be the cost then.

● Advantages of Conventional pilot programme::-

1. The cost of training is lower.

2. You are free to choose any school during training and any airline after training.

3. More practical way in terms of cost and training.

● Disadvantages of Conventional pilot programme::-

1. There is no guarantee of employment unlike in CADET PILOT PROGRAMME.

2. Waiting period may be too long depending upon the aviation market situation.

3. Lots of formalities of which you should have perfect knowledge.

● Should you train yourself through conventional way?

This is a subjective topic. Some people like CADET PILOT PROGRAMME and some like CONVENTIONAL WAY OF TRAINING depending upon the financial condition. If your financial condition is very good and can afford 1 crore INR then you can go for CADET PROGRAMME. But practically CONVENTIONAL WAY is a better choice to go for, costs are low and you will always feel free, you will not get bounded by any airline. So better will be to go through conventional ways of training.

Thanks For Reading

2 thoughts on “How to become a commercial pilot in India?| What is Conventional pilot programme?”

  1. Ayush Vidyarthi

    This blog. Has tons of info. Those who wants to pursue an airline career ….should visit here.

  2. Thank you very much for the rich information you have provided in this blog …Also, i wanted to know about what if a person complete his/her dgca exam in India and do his/her flying in Australia .. what type of things one should have in their minds and rules and regulation regarding foreign training which is mandatory for Indian cpl .. can you please also clear these queries.i’ll be really thankfull.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *