Aeroplane (A) Licences

Commercial Pilot Licence CPL(A)


Licence for the level of experience required to operate single pilot on single or multi-engine aeroplanes in commercial air transport. With an Instrument Rating you may also fly in cloud and with an Instructor Rating you may teach other people to fly.


  • To pilot as Pilot in Command of any aircraft in any operation other than:
  • a multi-crew aircraft in a charter or regular public transport operation; or
  • an aeroplane certificated for single-pilot operation, that has a maximum certificated take-off weight of more than 5,700 kg, in a regular public transport operation; or
  • a turbojet aeroplane with a maximum certificated take-off weight of more than 3 500 kg in a regular public transport operation; and
  • to pilot, as co-pilot, any aircraft in any operation provided the holder has completed an approved course of training in multi-crew cooperation.


You must

  • Be at least 18
  • Hold a Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • Meet the minimum aeronautical experience requirements
  • Pass the required aeronautical knowledge exams
  • Complete the required flight training
  • Pass the required flight test


Aeronautical Experience Requirements


Non-Integrated CourseExperience RequirementsTotal Aeronautical ExperiencePilot in Command TimePilot in Command Cross CountryDual Instrument TimeDual Instrument Flight TimeIntegrated Course≥ 150 hours≥ 70 hours≥ 20 hours≥ 10 hours≥ 5 hoursFlight Time as Pilot≥ 140 hours≥ 200 hours≥ 100 hours≥ 20 hours≥ 10 hours≥ 5 hours≥ 190 hours


Training Options

Integrated Training Course

An integrated training course is an intensive program, delivered over a condensed time frame, that combines ground theory with practical flight training in a structured course designed to take the student from the ab-initio stage right through to CPL standard. Courses are usually run on a "live in" basis.


Integrated training courses can only be delivered by approved (Part 142) Flying Training Organisations. One benefit of an integrated course is the reduced minimum hours to gain a CPL. However, you will need to be able to fund the entire course over that short time frame.


Non-Integrated (Modular) Training

A non-integrated training course breaks the training requirements into its component parts and is delivered at a pace that suits the individual student. The ground theory component can be self studied, via an on-line course or in a class room environment via a separate training organisation.


The flying training component can only be delivered by approved (Part 141 or Part 142) Flying Training Organisations and will usually progress from ab-initio, through a Recreational Pilot Licence, Private Pilot Licence to the Commercial Pilot Licence.


Aeronautical Knowledge

The theory component of the Commercial Pilot Licence consists of 7 subjects that must all be passed within a two year "window". There are additional theory components in order to gain ratings that might be applicable to the type of flying you intend to do e.g. Instrument Rating.


CPL exams are delivered by Pilot Examination Office (PEXO) via the internet to authorised examination venues.


CPL Examinations

Pass MarkSubjectNavigationHuman FactorsFlight Rules and Air LawAerodynamicsAircraft General KnowledgeExam time1hr 45min1hr 15min2hrs1hr 30min1hr 30minMeteorology1hr 30 min70%70%80%70%70%70%Operation, Performance and Flight Planning2hrs 30min70%


Additional Rating Examinations

Pass MarkSubjectInstrument Rating ExaminationAerial Application Rating ExaminationExam time3hrs 30min2hrsPilot Instructor Rating Common Examination2hrs70%75%75%



  • A minimum number of take-off/landings are required in a 90 day period to keep the CPL(A) current.  An IR(A) is valid for a year and requires a revalidation test annually.
  • Class/Type Rating – to fly other aircraft types.
  • Flying Instructor (FI) Rating.
  • Instrument Rating (IR)  – to fly as PIC/Copilot under IFR


Pilot Ratings

Flight Instructor Rating

Pilots who conduct training for the issue of a flight crew licence, rating or endorsement must hold a pilot instructor rating.



Flight instructors are authorised to:

  • To conduct flight training for pilot licences, ratings and endorsements on pilot licences (with exceptions)
  • Grant design feature and flight activity endorsements
  • Conduct multi-crew cooperation training
  • Conduct differences for variants of type ratings
  • Conduct flight reviews
  • Approve a person to fly solo


You must

  • Hold a PPL, CPL or ATPL
  • Hold a Cert IV in training and assessment or complete and approved course in the principles and methods of instruction
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements
  • Pass the pilot instructor rating common examination
  • Complete a course of training
  • Pass a flight test


Aeronautical Experience

ExperienceFlight time as a pilotRequirement≥ 200 hoursFlight time as Pilot in Command≥ 100 hours


Instrument Rating

In order to pilot an aircraft in cloud (instrument meteorological conditions, IMC) a pilot must hold a valid instrument rating.



The holder of an instrument rating is authorised to pilot an aircraft:

  • Under the Instrument Flight Rules, IFR
  • At night under the Visual Flight Rules, VFR
  • Subject to limitations on the category and type of aircraft, the type of operation and recent experience requirements


You must

  • Hold a PPL, CPL or ATPL
  • Meet the requirements for at least one instrument endorsement
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements
  • Pass the instrument rating examination, IREX
  • Complete a course of training
  • Pass a flight test


Aeronautical Experience

ExperiencePIC Cross Country Flight TimeDual Instrument TimeRequirement≥ 50 hours≥ 10 hoursInstrument Time≥ 40 hoursInstrument Flight Time≥ 20 hours (May include 10 hours in an approved simulator)

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