How to become a commmercial pilot

If you are here, then you must definitely be looking for information on how to become a commercial pilot in India.

To put it in simple words, a commercial pilot is one who is hired for a private or scheduled flight. They work for non-commercial passengers such as wealthy families and government departments.

Being a commercial pilot is not an easy task. Get to know more about becoming a Commercial pilot, how to get commercial pilot license, age limit for commercial pilot in India, commercial pilot requirements, commercial pilot qualifications, commercial pilot course, top institutions, salary and more. 

Who is a Commercial Pilot?

In general, pilots are highly trained professionals who fly different kinds of aircraft. They are further classified depending on the kind of aircraft they fly. One such specialist is a Commercial pilot.

Commercial pilots are professionals hired by private parties to operate unscheduled flights generally for non-commercial purposes.

They are responsible and accountable for the entire flight operations from pre-flight check to a safe landing at the destination. 

Types of Pilots

1. Airline Pilots

An airline pilot is the most common type of pilot. They are professionals who fly aeroplanes of commercial airlines either passenger or cargo aircraft. They are usually employed by an airline. An airline pilot is the most advanced license in the industry. They must be over 23 years and have logged at least 1500 hours. 

2. Private Pilots

A private pilot usually flies small aircraft in controlled airports or airspaces. A private pilot license is an aviation equivalent to a car driving license. It allows pilots to fly private aircraft and non-commercial passengers. The private plot license is an ideal fit for hobby flying and aviation enthusiasts. The training is a minimum of 40 hours and few manoeuvres to control the flight. 

3. Sport Pilots

Sports pilots fly light aircraft at low altitudes and are allowed to operate locally. Obtaining a sports pilot license is easy. However, there are basic requirements and restrictions to adhere to. A sports pilot can carry only one passenger at a time. There are many license categories like rotorcraft, glider, lighter than air, aeroplane, and powered parachute. 

4. Recreational Pilots

Recreational pilots fly flights heavier than the ones used by sports pilots.  The recreational pilot has restrictions on flying such as they are not supposed to fly 50 nautical miles from the base airport. They are allowed to operate only in the daytime in controlled airspace. They must have logged 30 hours of flying with 15 hours under the supervision of a professional instructor. 

5. Flight Inspectors

The last career position is a flight instructor with the aim to pass flying knowledge to the younger generation. A flight instructor teaches in flight schools, or airlines, or becomes a private instructor. Becoming a flight instructor needs not just practical knowledge but also theoretical and instructional concepts. The role of a flight inspector is to provide candidates with the knowledge and experience to fly and find opportunities with potential employers. 

6. Commercial Pilots

Commercial pilots are similar to airline pilots and the difference is they are hired to fly privately but not through airlines. Private and scheduled flights are required to adhere to rules laid under commercial flying to avoid potential mishaps. The training involves advanced knowledge of professional flight operations. The license needs intensive training like an airline pilot. 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Commercial Pilot

    • Create flight plans based on aircraft availability and client needs.

    • Fly aircraft in a set flight plan and adhere to flying protocols. 

    • Manage the work schedule of the crew, maintenance, and other members.

    • Conduct preflight safety checks and address all technical issues before leaving the ground. 

    • Balance cargo load on the flight and monitor loading and unloading activities. 

    • Check weather conditions along the flight path to ensure the safety of the flight and the passengers.

    • Maintain safe flying conditions and take decisions based on external factors and address on-air issues by either correcting or maintaining the flight path. 

    • Track schedules to ensure on-time delivery or aerial at the destination airport. 

Eligibility to Become a Commercial Pilot 

There are certain commercial pilot eligibility conditions which vary depending on the country of residence. To become a Commercial Pilot in India, one must have,

    • Maximum age of 60 years

    • Commercial Pilot license

    • Cross country and night flying experience

    • Valid passport

    • Minimum of 1000 hours of flying experience

    • Pass Criminal background check 

How to Become a Commercial Pilot in India? A Step-by-Step Guide

    • After completing 10th, take up Science stream for 12th with Physics and Mathematics as main subjects.

    • After the 12th, find a good flying school and enrol for the pilot training program.

    • Pilot training courses provide the necessary theoretical knowledge and flying hours experience required to obtain a pilot’s license. 

    • Obtain a pilot license for getting employment opportunities. 

    • One cannot become a Commercial pilot after getting a pilot license. They must have experience working as an airline pilot.

    • Find a role as an airline pilot with passenger carriers.

    • One needs to fly at least 1000 hours in cross-country and night flying.

    • Once financially stable, airline pilots can apply for and obtain a commercial pilot license. 

    • Find employment opportunities with private companies, charter airlines, wealthy families, and more and get employed as a Commercial pilot. 

Top Institutions to Become a Commercial Pilot

The top institutions in India to become a Commercial Pilot are:

    • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Ural Academy, Raebareli

    • Government Aviation Training Institute, Bengaluru

    • Bombay Flying Club, Mumbai

    • Madhya Pradesh Flying Club, Indore

    • Ahmedabad Aviation and Aeronautics Limited, Ahmedabad

    • Institute of Aviation and Aviation Safety, Mumbai

    • Orient Flying Club, Mysuru

    • National Flying Training Institute, Gondia

    • Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology, Thiruvananthapuram

    • Thakur Institute of Aviation, Mumbai

Courses to Become a Commercial Pilot 

There are no specific academic courses to become a Commercial Pilot. The training to become a Commercial pilot can start right after the 12th standard and there is no mandatory education requirement.

However, there are few undergraduate courses that will help the theoretical adoption of aircraft flying along with training. Here is a list of academic commercial pilot courses:

    • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Aviation

    • BBA Airport Management

    • BBA Aviation Operations

    • Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering

Commercial Pilot Salary In India

The average annual salary of a Commercial pilot in India is INR 15L per annum. Depending upon flying experience, the salary may range up to INR 24L per annum. Commercial pilots are generally employed by wealthy families, governments, and companies to fly high-profile executives. 

Pros and Cons

Pros of Being a Commercial Pilot:

    • Exciting career choice

    • Free travel around the world

    • Good pay and work flexibility

    • Option to leave the work at work

    • Additional perks while travelling

Cons of Being a Commercial Pilot

    • High investment for training and license.

    • Health concerns and need to be physically fit

    • Hard to find job opportunities


    • Commercial pilots are professionals experienced in the flying charter, unscheduled, and private planes. They are hired for personal use. 

    • Commercial pilots are similar to airline pilots employed for charter planes instead of commercial airlines. 

    • Being a Commercial pilot has less competition and is a high-paying aviation profile. Like any other job, it has its ups and downs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, being a Commercial pilot ois a high-paying job profile in the aviation industry.

Not always, being a commercial plot sometimes needs to take an extra step to make the flight safe. Sometimes, it can get stressful which is mainly dependent on external factors.

It takes 3 years of work experience as an airline pilot to obtain a license and become a commercial pilot.

The average salary of a commercial pilot in India is INR 15L per annum which is in majority depends on their work experience. Read the article above and get more details on how to become a commercial pilot in India.

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