Airline Transport Pilot Licence

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The Air Transport Pilot Certification (ATPC), or in the United States of America, an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate is the highest level of aircraft pilot certificate. 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. In the UK, pilots must hold an ATP before they can be Pilot In Command on an aircraft with 9 or more passenger seats. [1]

Any pilot operating an aircraft for pay must start by obtaining a Commercial pilot certificate (CPC). Airline Transport Pilot certifications 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:[2]

  • 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
  • Mass 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 23 years old.[3] 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 approved Universities such as the University of North Dakota, Middle Tennessee State University, Purdue University, Eastern Kentucky University, LeTourneau University, Central Washington University, Florida Institute of Technology, Westminster College, Western Michigan University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona State University or the University of Central Missouri that have 1000 hours of total flight time and are 21 years or older.[4]
  • Graduates with a two-year degree in aviation, 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. [5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The EASA ATPL". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "FAA Airman Knowledge Testing" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Federal Aviation Administration. February 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^