Colombia is Latin America's third largest aviation market
At least 17 years old, High School Graduate, Able to write, read, and speak Spanish and English Language, Pass Medical Examination
With over 51 million population, Colombia has over 15 active airlines. Colombia is Latin America's third largest aviation market. According to CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Colombia's second and third largest airlines will expand their fleet in the next few years. This is due to its growing market and the increasing demand for air transport. Hence, more pilot demand.
One of the many questions we received is How to become a Pilot in Colombia. Hence, we've created this below Step by Step Guide to assist aspiring pilots wanting to do their pilot training in Colombia.Step by Step Guide on How to become a Pilot in Colombia
Step 1. Research
Research the different options you have to become a Pilot in Colombia. Start of by researching online through Aviationfly.com, Google, YouTube, Colombia Aeronautica Civil, 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 Colombia.
- Different Pilot Training Options
- Flight School: Take your flight training with a Flight School in Colombia 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 (Colombian Air Force): 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 at least 17 years old; Speak and write the Spanish and English language, and; a Valid Class II Medical Certificate.
- 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 at least 18 years old; Read, speak, and understand the Spanish and English language; High School Graduate or equivalent, and; Valid Class II Medical Certificate.
(i) Ten (10) hours of double command in the instruction of normal maneuvers according to theflight directives approved by the UAEAC;
(ii) Five (5) hours of flight only in the practice of normal maneuvers according to the flight directives approved by the UAEAC;
(iii) Fifteen (15) hours of dual command in cruise flight instruction, in which include at least a distance of 270 km (150 NM), during which time, you will have at least two complete landings at different aerodromes;
(iv) Ten (10) hours of solo cruise flight, including at least one flight of a minimum of 270 km (150 NM), during which it will have made complete landings in two different aerodromes;
(v) In addition to the above, ten (10) hours of flight training must be carried out per instruments in training device or flight simulator, as a way of familiarization and Without this empowering the student to execute operations under IFR flight rules.
- 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 at least 18 years old; Read, speak, and understand the Spanish and English language; High School Graduate or equivalent; Holder of Private Pilot License, and; Valid Class I Medical Certificate.
The applicant will have completed at least two hundred (200) flight hours, distributed as follows:
(i) fifteen (15) hours of pre-solo flight;
(ii) Thirty (30) hours of double command in the instruction of normal maneuvers, according to with flight directives approved by the UAEAC;
(iii) Thirty-five (35) hours of flight only in practice maneuvers, including thirty (30) minutes of the first flight alone;
(iv) Forty (40) hours of instrument flight in airplanes, of which five (5) will be local nights including five (5) take-offs and landings; of these forty (40) hours, a maximum of ten (10) hours of training in an instructional device, may recorded as instrument flight time. Hours in instructional device they will be carried out under the guidance of an authorized instructor;
(v) Forty (40) hours of cruising in double command in en-route flight instruction, which include, at a minimum, a 540 km (300 NM) cruise and two landings at locations other than the airport of origin;
(vi) Forty (40) hours of solo cruise flight, including at least one cruise of 540 Km. (300 NM) which include landings at airports other than the airport originally.
In addition to the above, you must perform thirty (30) hours in an instructional device or instrument flight trainer.
- 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: 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 Pilot License you must be at least 21 years old; Read, speak, and understand the Spanish and English language; High School Graduate or equivalent; Valid Class I Medical Certificate, and; Currently in possession of a Commercial Pilot License.
(i) 500 flight hours as Copilot or 250 flight hours as Pilot in command;
(ii) 200 hours of cruise flight, of which not less than 100 hours as a Pilot or Co-pilot;
(iii) 75 hours of instrument flight, of which a maximum of 30 hours may be in a flight simulator or flight training device approved by the UAEAC;
(iv) 100 hours of night flight as Pilot in command or as Copilot.
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
As an Airline Pilot you will earn around US$6,000 (22,963,020 COP) per month plus benefits!
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?
- Visit your shortlist of flight schools - speak to the instructors and management teams to learn about the training, safety policies, history and graduates of the flight school. To find all the options available to you visit this page by clicking here.