How to become a Pilot in Belize

Belize

Air transport sector supports over 44,000 jobs in Belize

Entry Requirements

At least 17 years old, High School Graduate, Able to write, read, and speak in English Language, Pass Medical Examination

One of the many questions we received is How to become a Pilot in Belize. Hence, we've created this below Step by Step Guide to assist aspiring pilots wanting to do their pilot training in Belize.

Step by Step Guide on How to become a Pilot in Belize

 

Step 1. Research

Research the different options you have to become a Pilot in Belize. Start of by researching online through Aviationfly.com, Google, YouTube, Belize Department of Civil Aviation, Facebook Pilot Groups and others. The more research you do initially, the more you will know all your options and the process of how to become a pilot in Belize.

  • Different Pilot Training Options
    • Flight School: Take your flight training with a Flight School in Belize or abroad. If you are interested to take your flight training abroad, please send us a message.
    • Aviation related College Degree Program: This allows you to combine a college degree with flight training.
    • Airline Cadet Pilot Program: These are flight training programs which include guaranteed employment with the airline upon successful graduation (and some of these programs are sponsored by the airline).
    • Join the Military (Belize Defence Force Air Wing): Get your flight training sponsored by joining the Military - you will have to stay with the Military for around 12 years after completing your training before you are allowed to apply to commercial airlines.

 

Step 2. Basic Requirements

  • Age: The minimum age to start your pilot training is 17 years old and that is when you can receive a Student Pilot License (SPL) and the retirement age for airline pilots actively flying is 65 years old.
  • Medical Certificate: In order to start your pilot training, you will need to secure a Medical Certificate - in order to get this, it is best to speak with the Flight School you want to start with and they will help arrange it for you.
  • Educational requirement: It is important to note at this point that you can get a Student Pilot License, Private Pilot License, and Commercial Pilot License with a Secondary School Degree.
  • English Proficiency: The language of Aviation internationally is English and it is recommended to meet a Level 4 English standard before receiving your Commercial 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.

 

Step 3. Training Stages

  • Student Pilot License (SPL): Allows you to start your flight training. To get a Student Pilot Certificate, you should be:

(a) At least 17 years old;

(b) Have completed or be studying the studies corresponding to the middle or secondary education;

(c) Be in possession, at least, of an aeronautical medical certificate Class 2.

  • Private Pilot License (PPL): This license will allow you to fly solo or fly passengers or cargo but without receiving any money for it. To get a Private Pilot License, you must be:

(a) At least 17 years old;

(b) Demonstrate proficiency in speaking and understanding the English language;

(d) Have completed high school or equivalent;

(e) Be in possession, at least, of a Class Aeronautical Medical Certificate 2;

(f) Shall receive and log the following minimum flight training times:

(i) At least 40 hours of flight time; and

(ii) at least 10 hours of solo flight time under the supervision of an authorized flight instructor, including 5 hours of solo cross country flight time with at least one cross country flight totaling a minimum of 270 km (150 NM) in the case of aeroplane and powered-lift rating and 180 km (100 NM) for helicopter rating including full-stop landings at two different airports.

  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL): License will allow you to earn from flying and be a paid professional pilot. To get a Commercial Pilot License, you must be:

(a) At least 18 years old;

(c) Demonstrate proficiency in speaking and understanding the English language;

(d) Hold a valid private pilot license;

(e) Have completed high school or its equivalent;

(f) Possess a valid Class 1 aeronautical medical certificate;

(g) Shall receive and log a minimum of 200 hours for an aeroplane, which includes not less than:

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

(ii) 20 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command including a cross-country flight totaling not less than 300 NM (540 km) in the course of which full-stop landings at two different airports shall be made;

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

(iv) Where the privileges of the license are to be exercised at night 5 hours of night flight time including 5 take-offs and 5 landings as pilot in command.

  • Instrument Rating: Being Instrument Rated means that you can fly the aircraft in any weather condition (example low or zero visibility) using just the instruments.
  • Multi-Engine Rating: License which allows you to fly multi-engine aircraft.
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): Is the highest level of Aircraft Pilot Certificate that allows you to act as pilot in command on scheduled air carriers. To get an Airline Transport Pilot License, you must be:

(a) At least 21 years old;

(b) Hold a valid and current commercial pilot license and an instrument rating;

(d) Demonstrate proficiency in speaking and understanding the English language;

(e) Have completed high school or equivalent;

(f) Possess a current Class 1 medical certificate;

(g) Shall have no less than 1 500 hours of total time as a pilot that included no less than:

(i) 500 hours as pilot in command or 250 hours either as a 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 100 hours shall be a pilot in command or as pilot-in- command under supervision;

(iii) 100 hours of night flight time as pilot in command or as co-pilot; and

(iv) 75 hours of instrument flight time, of which not more than 30 hours may be instrument ground time.

 

If you have any questions so far, please do send us a message on the yellow TALK TO US button.

 

Step 4. Career Options

  • Airline Pilot for the 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
 

Tips for picking a Flight School

 
  • Decide on your pilot goals - what are your long-term aspirations in aviation? Do you want to become a pilot in your free time (Private Pilot License)? Do you want to fly in General Aviation (Commercial Pilot License)? Do you want to become an airline pilot (airline program)? If you want to become an airline pilot which airlines are hiring? What aircraft are the airlines receiving over the next few years? Which flight schools do the airlines usually hire from? These are critical questions you should list and get answers to when asking yourself "how will I become a Pilot".
 
  • Determine how much you can afford to spend - different schools have different costs (due to location, number of students, aircraft type and a number of other factors), find out the reasons for the price difference. Do programs have financial assistance/loan programs? Might a part time program work for you?
 
  • How much free time do you have - different schools have different 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 cost).
 
  • What equipment does the flight school use - this is important from a training but even more importantly from a safety aspect. Take into consideration as well the equipment preference of airlines which will want new pilots to have trained on certain equipment. Find out what the difference is between training aircraft (both from a training and cost perspective). 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? Safety features of the aircraft?