Commercial Pilot

8/12/2013 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
Pilot�s 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 individual�s 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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