How to Become a Pilot in Nigeria 2022

Hi there, future Pilot! Your interest in becoming a pilot must have brought you to this page. You might be wondering how to become a Pilot in Nigeria after 12th Grade? Is becoming a Pilot your dream or are you simply just curious about how to become a Pilot in Nigeria? If you answer yes to one of these, then this “How to Become a Pilot in Nigeria 2022” page is for you!

You probably have a multitude of questions when it comes to qualifications, duration, and requirements necessary for pilot training in Nigeria. Fret not, as we, at Aviationfly, have compiled the most basic things you need to know when planning to take your pilot course/program in Nigeria.

But before we walk you through the following step-by-step guide, did you know that with its population of more than 200 million people, Nigeria has more than 15 air operators with a number of airlines which have ordered a lot of aircraft such as Green Africa Airways that ordered 50+ aircraft. Hence, there will be a huge demand for pilots over the coming years. There is not a better time to start your pilot training than now!

Aviationfly has helped many aspiring pilots just like you become a pilot with our step-by-step guide below. On this page, we will walk you through all the steps that you need to take into consideration when pursuing your dream of becoming either a private pilot, commercial pilot, or airline transport pilot.

Step 1. Do research on the available flight training options in Nigeria

You need to know what pilot training programs are being offered in the country and which among those is the most suitable for you. This is where you should take into account what is your aviation goal. Do you want to obtain a Private Pilot License (PPL) or a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Are you seeking to work for an airline? If yes, then an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) is for you. Do you aim to attain a college degree at the same time too? Or do you see yourself joining the military, particularly the Air Force? 

Oh wait! Did we lose you? Don’t panic! If you’re not familiar with the terms or can’t choose which license is the right for you, you can send in your questions and our team will be happy to help you out.

Here are your options

  • Flight School

There are only three (3) flight schools in Nigeria that offer pilot training programs that you can choose from. It is important that you create a list of your preferred flight school/s so you can compare which is fitting for you. Each school has its own procedures, enrollment requirements, and depending on which pilot training courses you decide to take, the tuition fee also varies. 

  • Aviation-related college degree program

However, if you’re interested in obtaining a college degree accompanied with flight training, you should consider aviation-related college degree programs. These programs allow students to combine a college degree with flight training. With this kind of program, you will earn a college degree together with a pilot license such as Commercial Pilot License (CPL) in most cases. This will give you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.

  • Airline cadet pilot program

Meanwhile, if your greatest childhood dream is to become an airline pilot, you should consider airline cadet pilot programs. Airlines often sponsor these programs and students are guaranteed employment upon course completion. In this pilot program, you will obtain an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). You can reach out to us to get an insight on the options currently available.

  • Join the military

Finally, if you’re interested in serving your country, you can join the Nigerian Air Force. The Government will sponsor your flight training but you will have to stay with the military for around 12 years  after completion before you can apply to commercial airlines.

Step 2. Look up the Basic Requirements

  • What is the minimum age to become a pilot in Nigeria?

    • You need to be at least 17 years old to start your pilot training in India. 
  • What do I need to start pilot training in Nigeria? 

    • In order to start your pilot training, you will need to secure a medical certificate. The best way to do this is to speak with the flight school you would like to enroll in and they will help arrange it for you.
  • What are the minimum educational requirements to become a pilot in Nigeria?

    • Potential students must have at least a high school degree (class 12) with at least 50% in Maths and Physics.
  • What level of English do I need to become a pilot in Nigeria?

    • Since the language of aviation internationally is English, it is recommended to have at least a level 4 English standard before receiving your pilot license. If you are looking to improve your English, you can send us a message and we will give you tips on what courses to take.
  • What is the maximum age for airline pilots in Nigeria

    • The retirement age for airline pilots is 67 years old.

Step 3. Decide on which training stages you will have to undergo

In general, there are five (5) different pilot training stages in which students need to complete depending on what their goal is. The stages of pilot training are as follows:

  • Student Pilot License (SPL)

The first pilot license you will need to obtain is a student pilot license. This license allows you to start your flight training. To get a Nigerian student pilot certificate, you need to be at least 16 years old, and able to speak, understand, read, and write in English language at the minimum level required by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)

The private pilot license will allow you to fly solo, passengers, or cargo but without monetary compensation. In order to get Nigerian private pilot license, you must:

  1. be at least 17 years old;
  2. be a holder of SPL;
  3. hold a current Class 2 Medical Certificate;

Experience:

  1. shall have completed not less than 40 hours of flight time, or 35 hours if completed during a course of approved training, as pilot of aeroplanes
  2. shall have completed in aeroplanes not less than 10 hours of solo flight time under the supervision of an authorised flight instructor, including 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least one cross-country flight totalling not less than 270km (150 NM) in the course of which full-stop landings at two different aerodomes shall be made.

Flight instruction: 

  1. Shall receive and log not less than 20 hours of dual instruction from an authorised instructor. These 20 hours may include 5 hours completed in a flight simulation training device. The 20 hours of dual instruction shall include at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least one cross-country flight totalling not less than 270km (150 NM) in the course of which full-stop landings at two different aerodomes shall be made.
  2. If the privileges of PPL (A) are to be exercised at night, the applicant shall have received 4 hours dual flight instruction in aeroplanes in night flying, including take-offs, landings and 1 hour navigation.
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

To start earning from flying, you will need to obtain a commercial pilot license. This license allows you to become a paid professional pilot. In order to obtain a commercial pilot license in Nigeria, you will need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Shall not be less than 18 years old;
  2. Shall hold a current Class 1 Medical Certificate

Experience: 

  1. Shall have completed not less than 200 hours of flight time, or 150 hours if completed an NCAA approved training course for in an Approved Training Organization, as a pilot of aeroplanes, of which 10 hours may have been completed in a flight simulation training device.
  2. Shall have completed in aeroplanes not less than:

(i) 100 hours as PIC or, in the case of a course of approved training, 70 hours as PIC; 

(ii) 20 hours of cross-country flight time as PIC including a cross-country flight totalling not less than 540 km (300 NM) in the course of which fullstop landings at two different aerodromes shall be made;

(iii) 10 hours of instrument instruction time of which not more than 5 hours may be instrument ground time; 

(iv) If the privileges of the licence are to be exercised at night, 5 hours of night flight time including 5 take-offs and 5 landings as PIC.

Flight Instruction:

  1. Shall receive and log not less than 25 hours of dual instruction from an authorised instructor. These 25 hours may include 5 hours completed in a flight simulation training device.
  2. If the privileges of the licence are to be exercised at night, 4 hours dual instruction  flight time including 5 take-offs and 5 landings as PIC.

Both Instrument Rating and Multi-Engine Rating are add-ons to your pilot license…

  • Instrument Rating (IR)

Being instrument-rated means that you can fly the aircraft in any weather condition (for example low or zero visibility) using just the instruments. Flight schools offer Instrument Rating along with their commercial pilot training. But this can also be obtained separately.

  • Multi-Engine Rating (MER)

The multi-engine rating will allow you to fly multi-engine aircraft. Flight schools offer Multi-Engine Rating along with their private pilot training and commercial pilot training. But this can also be obtained separately.

  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

 This is the highest level of Pilot License globally. The license is a requirement if you want to be a Captain (in command) of a multi-crew aircraft (like a commercial airline aircraft). To get an ATPL, you should:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age;
  2. Hold a current Class 1 Medical Certificate;
  3. be a holder of a CPL(A) with instrument and multi-engine rating

Experience:

4. have completed not less than 1 500 hours of flight time as a pilot of aeroplanes. Credit for such experience shall be limited to a maximum of 100 hours, of which not more than 25 hours shall have been acquired in a flight procedure trainer or a basic instrument flight trainer.

You shall have completed in aeroplanes not less than:

(i) 500 hours as pilot-in-command under supervision or 250 hours, either as pilot-in-command, or made up by not less than 70 hours as pilot-in-command and the necessary additional flight time as pilot-in command under supervision;

(ii) 200 hours of cross-country flight time, of which not less than a 100 hours shall be as PIC or as co-pilot performing;

(iii) 75 hours of instrument time, of which not more than 30 hours will be instrument ground time; and

(iv) 100 hours of night flight as PIC or as co-pilot.

Flight Instruction:

5. have received dual flight instruction required for the issue of the CPL, and the IR or for the issue of the multi-crew pilot licence.

If you have any questions so far, feel free to use the chat messenger to send us a message.

Step 4. Choose a flight school

After doing your research on the type of license you would like to obtain, the next step is to choose which flight school is the most suitable for your budget.

So, how much does pilot training cost? 

It is important to note that becoming a pilot requires a certain budget. Your flight training cost depends on the country you do your training, the flight school you pick, and a number of other factors.

If you decide to do your flight training within the country, there are only 3 pilot schools in Nigeria for you to choose from. You can find a list of flight training institutes in Nigeria by registering with us on Aviationfly. Our flight school directory has a list of all latest active flight schools in Nigeria including their brief background, pilot training courses being offered, school’s fleet details, what they can offer to you and other information. 

On the other hand, if you decide to do your flight training abroad, there are a number of popular countries to choose from. Some of which include the UK, US, France, etc. Aviationfly.com is in contact with pilot training schools abroad that have trained a large number of Nigerian pilots for CPL. One important thing to note is that after your training in a pilot school abroad, you will have to convert your license to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Step 5. Consider your Career Options

Many aspiring pilots have a defined career path they would like to pursue, while others don’t. Below is a list of options for what you can potentially do with a pilot license.

  • Airline pilot for large airlines or smaller regional ones
  • Corporate or business aviation pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Charter / Air taxi pilot
  • Flight instructor
  • Medical/ Air ambulance pilots
  • Agricultural pilot and many more options

A frequently asked question is: how much does an Airline Captain in Nigeria make? The short answer is around NGN 2,200,000 per month*!

*This/these number/numbers is/are based on available data and research conducted in the year 2019. There is no guarantee that the number/s provided is/are accurate. Please read our Disclaimer.

Tips for Picking a Flight School

Tip 1. Decide on your pilot goals

Firstly, ask yourself – what are your long-term aspirations in aviation? Do you want to become a pilot in your free time (Private Pilot License)? Or do you want to fly in General Aviation (Commercial Pilot License)? Do you want to become an airline pilot through an airline pilot cadet program? Additionally, which airlines are currently hiring? What type of aircraft will be utilized by airlines in the next few years? Which flight schools do the airlines usually hire from? Best to ask flight schools if they have partnerships with airlines. These are critical questions you should list and get answers to when asking yourself “how will I become a Pilot”.

Tip 2. Determine how much you can afford to spend

Secondly, different flight schools have different costs (due to location, number of students, aircraft type and several other factors), find out the reasons for the price difference. Moreover, do these programs have financial assistance/loan programs? Might a part-time program work for you?

Tip 3. Determine how much free time you have

Each flight training school has its own training schedules with some offering flexibility while others want the cadets to train full time and on campus. Note that delaying flight training usually increases your training costs.

Tip 4. Find out what type of aircraft the flight school uses and information of its aircraft maintenance center

This is important from a training point of view, but even more importantly, from a safety aspect. Furthermore, you should also take into consideration the equipment preference of airlines. Aircraft age does not always relate to safety, this is dependent on the aircraft maintenance – ask the flight school in detail about their aircraft maintenance department and safety features of the aircraft.

Tip 5. Visit your shortlist of flight schools

Finally, when possible, speak to the instructors and flight school management teams to learn about the training, safety policies, history, and graduates of the flight school.

Do you still have questions? Send us a message!

You can also check out How to become a Pilot in the Philippines, How to Become a Pilot in the USA or other countries by navigating on our platform or simply just reach out to our team through chat.

Step-by-Step Guide on Becoming a Pilot in Nigeria

How to become a pilot in Nigeria - Aviationfly