Commercial pilots have multiple choices while exploring the industry for a flourishing career. Go through the article to find information on the career options, opportunities, courses, and education for becoming a commercial pilot.


Commercial Pilot Career

The Indian aviation industry has two distinct branches - commercial and military. While commercial aviation comprises of passenger airlines, cargo planes, international air services, and charter operations, military aviation, on the other hand, includes Indian Air Force and aviation armed forces of the Navy and Army. A commercial pilot, basically, flies aircrafts carrying passengers or cargo or both, unlike an air force pilot who flies only fighter planes defending the country from enemy attack. The job of a commercial pilot is the most glamorous and exciting career option in aviation. It is highly rated as one of the most adventurous professions which require intensive and comprehensive training. This is a highly specialized job which requires knowledge of air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, and operations of sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls. They are the captains-in-charge, responsible for the safety of the crew and passengers or cargo.

Course Details
To become a commercial pilot one has to first possess a Student Pilot License (SPL). The minimum eligibility for a SPL is Higher Secondary Examination with at least 50% marks in Physics and Mathematics and completion of 17 years of age. He should register himself at a flying club which is recognized by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Besides these qualifications, certain other things are also required for this registration, like a medical certificate, security clearance, and a bank guarantee. After successful completion of SPL examination, one can apply for Private Pilot License (PPL), the second step to become a commercial pilot. The training includes sixty hours of flying which comprises of dual flights, solo flights, and cross-country flying. A Commercial Pilot License (CPL) may be obtained only after a PPL has been acquired. CPL training includes 250 hours of flying. With a CPL, a pilot can take up any professional assignment. Besides, Air Transport Pilotís License (ATPL), Aircraft Maintenance Engineering License, Aviation Security Awareness Course, BTEC [HNC] in Aviation, Hospitality and Travel Management, International Aviation Management, and Commercial Helicopter Pilots License (CHPL) are some other courses to be undertaken for commercial pilot training. Also, certificate, diploma, and advance diploma programs are also conducted in various institutes. These can be acquired through different parameters, like rigorous practical training and written examinations.

Career Prospects
Commercial pilots have a wide range of employment opportunities in government and private domestic and international airlines, cargo planes, charter planes, and private planes. They can be recruited in public sector airlines, like Indian Airlines and Air India. Besides, they also have the option of joining private domestic airlines (Air Deccan, IndiGo, SpiceJet) and international airlines (Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Sahara). Even large corporate houses with their own line of aircrafts require the services of pilots. With the government planning to widen the air services network, the demand for this profession is likely to grow very soon. Nowadays, even corporates are entering this sector, thereby making this profession an exciting career option further. With globalization, jobs as commercial pilots in airline companies outside India, like USA, UK, Australia and some European countries are also widely available.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Some flying clubs imparting training in flying from where SPL, PPL, and CPL training, along with other courses, can be pursued are: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, Rea Bareli; Academy of Carver Aviation Private Limited, Baramati, Maharashtra; Andhra Pradesh Flying Club, Hyderabad; Assam Flying Club, Guwahati; Bangalore Aeronautics Technical Services (BATS), Bangalore; Indore Flying Club, Indore; Flytech Aviation Academy, Hyderabad; West Bengal Flying Training Institute, Kolkata; Bihar Flying Institute, Patna; Government Flying Training School, Bangalore; Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation, Karnal; Delhi Flying Club, New Delhi; and International School of Aviation, New Delhi.

Remuneration
Commercial pilots get attractive remuneration and incentives. The starting monthly salary of a commercial pilot ranges from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 150,000 per month, depending on the airline and an individualís experience. The salary package includes special benefits in the form of contributory provident fund, gratuity, and medical facilities. They are also entitled to a range of benefits and allowances in addition to housing, medical and out-station allowances, and free or concessional air passes for their immediate family members and dependants. Pay scales of commercial pilots in the public sector organizations depend on the grade level of the positions. Pay packets are even higher in private international airlines.

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