How to Become a Pilot in India?

By: Nikita Parmar on 2022-06-22 10:56:21

About Pilots

Pilots are highly qualified individuals who receive extensive training to operate various types of aircraft and are responsible for maintaining the internal mechanics of aircraft in addition to learning to fly various types of aircraft, such as passenger, cargo, and mail. There are many sorts of pilots based on the streams and disciplines that applicants pursue.

The following are some of the pilots:

  1. Airline Transport Pilots: These are the pilots who fly commercial jets for private airlines and transport customers.
  2. Private Pilots: Those who can afford a private aircraft want to have private pilots available to them at all times.
  3. Sport Pilots: Sports pilots must fly below 10,000 feet and primarily within a particular range.
  4. Flight Instructors: They work for a training organization and are responsible for teaching other aspiring pilots how to fly.
  5. Air Force Pilots:  Trained by the country's air force, they are professionals in flying armed planes for the defence ministry.

Pilot Course Highlights

The following are the key features of how to become a pilot:  



Entrance Exam

NDA Exam


10 + 2 in Science (MPC)/Commerce


A Commercial Pilot License

Salary Range

2-5 lakhs

Course Fees for Pilot Training

Between 15 and 20 lakhs

Pilot Classifications

Commercial pilot, airline pilot, fighter pilot, charter pilot

Top pilot schools in India

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology, Bombay Flying Club, Madhya Pradesh Flying Club, National Flying Training Institute.

Who is a Pilot? 

A pilot is a professional who operates the flight controls while assuring the crew and passengers' safety. As a pilot, you may carry people or cargo from one location to another, or you could work for a firm that provides charter flights, aerial photography, or rescue services.

Pilots in India can operate in a variety of professions, including commercial aviation and the air force. They do several pre-flight tests and guarantee safe travel by operating the plane according to regulations. 

Pilot Course Eligibility Criteria

To enroll in any of the aviation courses, one must meet the qualifying conditions established by the school or academy. After completing the 12th grade, the following qualifications are required to become a pilot in India:

  • To begin training, you must be at least 17 years old.
  • One must have a minimum of 50% in their 10+2, which may vary depending on the institute.
  • One must have completed MPC subjects [Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry] as well as English at an intermediate level.
  • If a person is not a science student, then he/she can take the needed topics through the National Institute of Open Schooling or as a private candidate through the corresponding state board.
  • One will need a medical certificate from the appropriate authorities.

How to Become a Pilot?

Becoming a pilot is a difficult and time-consuming procedure that includes medical exams, flight school training, and rigorous testing. If you want to become a pilot, these are some of the steps you must take to obtain them: - 

  • Conduct Research - There are two ways to become a pilot in India. The first is through civil aviation, while the second is through the Indian Defence Forces. The first path leads to becoming a commercial pilot, whereas the second path leads to becoming a pilot in the Indian Air Force. So, before you begin your pilot career, do extensive research. Both professional routes, however, need you to pass tests and medical exams.
  • Choose Between Commercial and Military Pilots - Commercial and military pilots have distinct qualifications, responsibilities, license requirements, and benefits.
    • A Pilot in Civil Aviation - Commercial pilots operate planes and helicopters for a living. As a commercial pilot, you may be required to operate passenger or cargo aircraft. You might also assist with rescue or evacuation activities, as well as traffic monitoring. A Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) with mathematics and physics as obligatory topics is required to become a commercial pilot. 
    • Fighter Pilot or Air Force Pilot - If you want to serve our country, you can join the air force or become a combat pilot. One would be allowed to fly for the Indian Defence Forces in aircraft such as bombers, future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA), fighter jets, and transport planes. After passing your HSC or finishing your graduation with extra prerequisites, you can begin your career as a fighter pilot.
  • Enroll in a Flying School -  If you want to become a civil aviation pilot, you must first enroll in a flying or training school. Learn about their cost structure and length. These institutions provide a variety of courses based on your age, expertise, and needs. These training institutes offer flying instruction as well as classroom lectures to help you improve your piloting skills.
  • Apply for a Permit - In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grants and supervises civil aviation pilot licenses. According to DGCA regulations, you must have a certain number of hours of flight experience. In addition to demonstrating your flying abilities, you will be required to undergo written and oral tests. You can apply for a student pilot license (SPL), commercial pilot license (CPL), private pilot license (PPL), or airline transport pilot license based on your experience, age, and flying hours (ATPL).
  • Pass the Pilot Examinations - Both civil aviation and military pilots must pass written exams and flying tests.
  • Obtain Flying Experience -  According to the DGCA, all civil aviation pilots must log a specified number of flying hours in order to obtain their license. The sort of license you want to obtain determines your flying experience. An SPL, for example, requires no flying experience, but a CPL requires at least 200 hours of flight time. It is critical to continue tracking hours as you advance in your profession.
  • Schedule a Medical Evaluation - As part of the pilot's license requirements, you must pass a medical fitness exam to guarantee that your health does not interfere with your ability to operate an aircraft. Both civil aviation and air force pilots must pass medical exams set by the DGCA and the Indian Defence Forces.
  • Physical Requirements - Air Force applicants must be at least 152 cm tall and have 6/6 vision in one eye and 6/9 vision in the other. Your weight should be proportional to your height. A certificate of physical fitness in accordance with DGCA regulations is required to become eligible for a DGCA license.

Pilot Course Skill Set 

Aside from academic knowledge, students must have the following skills to be good pilots:

  • Technical expertise
  • Decision-making and critical thinking
  • Environmental and situational awareness
  • Excellent communication abilities.
  • A very focused and disciplined disposition
  • High degree of adaptability
  • Mental fortitude and physical fitness
  • Excellent sense of teamwork
  • Leadership ability

Top Pilot Training Institutes

These are some of the most prestigious colleges in India for studying and training to become a pilot. They are as follows:- 

  • Rashtriya Uran Academy, Indira Gandhi
  • The Bombay Flying Club (BFC)
  • Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Technology Academy
  • Madhya Pradesh Aero Club
  • The National Aeronautical Training Institute

Pilot Recruitment Agencies

Some of the 5 major employers in this field-

  • Air India
  • IndiGo
  • Air Asia
  • Spice Jet
  • Air India Charters Ltd.

Training Tips for Pilots

Whether you desire to be a civil aviation or air force pilot, the following recommendations can help you become a more efficient pilot:

  • Choose the Correct Flying School - Always go with a DGCA-approved flying or training school. 
  • Work on your Communication Skills - English is the worldwide language in the aviation industry, and one should be fluent in it as a pilot. Communication is essential for everything from speaking with the ground crew to obtaining clearance before landing and flying a flight.
  • Check your Ability to Handle Pressure - As a pilot, you may encounter high-pressure scenarios. As a result, airlines choose personnel who remain cool in stressful situations.


Ques. 1: What are some of the difficulties that pilots face?

Ans. Pilots must be able to operate well under pressure in order to deal with any obstacles that may emerge. They must also be adaptable since they must not only think on their feet but must also adjust to atypical working hours. Working at different times of day is another problem that pilots regularly confront.

Ques. 2: What should I do once I finish high school if I want to be a pilot?

Ans. After clearing the NDA, you can join the IAF's flying branch. It is a general ability and math-based test with the following primary subjects: English, Geography, History, General Knowledge, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, and Current Events.

Ques. 3: How much does the pilot's course cost?

Ans. The typical cost of a pilot training course ranges from Rs. 15 lakhs to Rs. 50 lakhs.

Ques. 4: What is a normal pilot's work schedule?

Ans. A pilot normally spends 75 hours per month flying and 150 hours on non-flying activities.

Ques. 5: Should I attend university before beginning flight training?

Ans. You don't have to go to university to become a pilot, although it could be a good idea. There is no right or incorrect response as to whether you should go or not; it is entirely dependent on individual circumstances.