Airline Transport Pilot Licence

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The Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), or in the United States of America, an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate is the highest level of aircraft pilot licence. Those certified as Airline Transport Pilots (unconditional) are authorized to act as pilot in command on scheduled air carrier's aircraft under CFR 14 Part 121. Additionally, ATP may be used as a name suffix, e.g. John Smith, ATP'[citation needed]

Any pilot operating an aircraft for pay must start by obtaining a Commercial pilot licence (CPL). Airline Transport Pilot Licences do not have special endorsements, such as Instrument or Complex aircraft ratings, as Airline Transport Pilots must already possess knowledge and training in these areas. However, aircraft heavier than 12,500 lbs. still require pilots to have a "type rating" (specific to the make and model of aircraft) certification.

Theoretical subjects included in the examination of ATPL applicants are:[1]

  • Air law
  • Aircraft general knowledge
  • Flight planning and monitoring
  • Human performance and limitations
  • Meteorology
  • Operational procedures
  • Principles of flight
  • Communications (IFR & VFR)
  • Performance
  • General navigation
  • Radio navigation
  • Instrumentation
  • Weight and balance


To be eligible to take the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) ATP practical test, the candidate must have at least 1500 hours of experience in aircraft and be at least 21 years old.[2] Restricted Licenses (which allow the holder to perform only second-in-command duties) may be granted to individuals that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Military pilots who are 21 years or older with 750 hours total time.
  • Graduates with a four-year degree in aviation from a Part 141 University such as the LeTourneau University, Florida Institute of Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University or Arizona State University, that have 1000 hours of total flight time and are 21 years or older.[3]
  • Graduates with a two-year degree in aviation, such as Century College in Minnesota, who have 1250 hours and are 21 years or older.
  • Pilots with 1500 hours who are 21 years or older.

The pilot can remove the restriction once they have achieved the normal prerequisites. [4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "FAA Airman Knowledge Testing". Federal Aviation Administration. Federal Aviation Administration. February 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^