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Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL)

Commercial Pilots licence


If you wish to become a commercial pilot there are a number of ways to go about it.  At CFS Nottingham we use the modular system of training rather than the integrated system you find at many other flying schools. This enables the student to be much more flexible in the way in which they train. It can be spread over a longer time span and can be carried out in any order he or she wishes. And importantly the cost is much lower.

If you want to start with little or no experience then the full course to achieving what is known as a 'Frozen Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL)' will take around 18 months. After that, there will be further qualifications for specific aircraft, depending upon the airline,  and then you would be eligible to work as a First Officer.

The course we offer is to train you to the level where you can obtain the European Commercial Pilot Licence with Multi-Engine Rating.



Modular Process

The first step in the modular process is to obtain a PPL (Private Pilots Licence). This is described more fully on the other pages on this site.

The next step, once you have achieved the PPL,  is to pass 14 ground theoretical exams. This requires much study and usually takes around 6 months.

At the same time, or afterwards, depending on your preference,  you can be building your flying hours as pilot in command and obtain your night rating.

When you have achieved 150 hours of flying time total in your logbook you can then take your CPL, Multi-Engine and Instrument rating courses. During this period you will also need to carry out a cross country flight of 300NM with two landings at different airfields in the same day.

Finally, when you get to the 216hours minimum and the right skill level then you can take your final skills test by a CAA examiner prior to issuing your licence.


CFS accepts applications to our modular ATPL Programme for those who meet the following criteria.

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Successfully completed secondary education. Subjects should include English, Mathematics and a Science subject and pass the CFS online aptitude test.
  • Proficient in the English Language (IELTS 5)
  • Class 1 Pilot Medical Certificate (see below)
  • Previous flying experience is not required.

Class 1 Pilot Medical Requirements

Prior to enrolling on the Modular ATPL training program, you must possess a valid Class 1 Medical Certificate. This can be obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority in your relevant country.

The Medical includes

  • a review of your medical history
  • a hearing and vision test
  • a lung function and heart test
  • a blood and urine analysis
  • a general physical analysis.

Assessment Skills and Aptitude Test

CFS skills assessment programme ensures that we identify those individuals most likely to succeed in airline pilot training and then a professional flying career.

We use specifically developed and validated methodologies and tools, including Computer-based testing, Technical tests and Personality Profiling. We also continually monitor your progress and will give regular assessment discussions as training progresses.

More information

If you are interested in joining our school and have any questions then please fill in our contact page or if you are in the UK then please come and visit us and one of our staff will be very pleased to take you through all the courses and requirements in more detail.

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