How to become a Pilot in Malaysia


6 Flight Schools are currently approved in the country (as of August 2019) with another 8 Flying Clubs
Entry Requirements

At least 17 years old, High School Graduate, be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language and pass Doctor Examination

Malaysia home to Air Asia - one of the largest low-cost airlines in Asia, Malaysia Airlines and a number of other airlines, has a large demand for airline pilots but only a relatively small number of flight schools. The great thing about Malaysia is that the Government has an Agency the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development also known as Majlis Amanah Rakyat MARA which sometimes provides funding assistance for Pilot Training in select flight schools in Malaysia for Malaysian Nationals.

One of the main questions receives is How to become a Pilot in Malaysia. Hence, a step by step guide is provided below.


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


Step 1. Research

The first step on how to become a pilot in Malaysia is to research the different options you have to become a Pilot. Start of by researching online thru, Google, YouTube, Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, Facebook Pilot Groups and others. The more research you do initially, the more you will know all your options and the process to become a pilot in Malaysia. You can also click the yellow CONTACT US button to send a message to get answers to your questions. has a database of hundreds of Pilot Schools including all the Flight Schools in Malaysia and can guide you through the process. Right at the beginning we recommend researching not only the different flight training options but also the different job opportunities you have once you have your Commercial Pilot License as this might influence your decision of what flight school is best for you.

  • Different Flight Training Options
    • Flight School: Take your flight training with a Flight School in Malaysia or abroad (if you want to learn more about the options of doing your flight training abroad in regions such as Europe, the United States, or the Philippines which are very popular for Malaysians, please send us a message).
    • Flying Club: Malaysia has a number of Flying Club's which offer Private Pilot License Training only and can provide you with a more flexible training schedule than Flight Schools.
    • 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). You can contact us and we can provide you with the latest information on Airline Cadet Pilot Programs in the Malaysia if you click on the yellow "CONTACT US" button - example programs are Air Asia Cadet Pilot Program and Malaysia Airlines Cadet Pilot Program which are open to SPM graduates as well as diploma and bachelor's degree holders.


Step 2. Basic Requirements

  • Age: The minimum age to start your pilot training is 17 years old when you can receive a Student Pilot License and the retirement age for airline pilots actively flying is between 60 and 65 years old (depending on the airlines preference). If you are applying for flight schools in Malaysia, it is recommended to apply between the age of 18 and 26 years old.
  • Medical Certificate: In order to start your pilot training, you will need to pass a Medical examination - in order to do this, it is best to speak with the Flight School/Flying Club you want to start with and then go to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia Website to find a list of approved Medical Examiners.
  • Educational requirement: It is important to note at this point that while you can get a Student Pilot License, Private Pilot License without a High School degree you will need to be 18 years old and have a minimum of at least 5 credits at SPM level (English, Mathematics and a Science subject) to be able to obtain a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) from CAAM.
  • 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): If you are doing your flight training in Malaysia this License is required to start your pilot training and you will have this until 40 to 50 hours of total flight time before you get your Private Pilot License. You will need to be at least 16 years old to get this license and pass Class 2 Medical examination. If you are unable to pass your medical examination, you can continue to fly with an instructor, but you cannot hold a Private Pilot License.
  • Private Pilot License (PPL): This license will allow you to fly solo or fly passengers or cargo but without receiving any money for it. You will need to be at least 17 years old to get this license. It is possible to get your Private Pilot License either at a Flying Club (which are only allowed to provide PPL training) or an Approved Flying Training Organisation (where you can continue to do your Commercial Pilot License).
    • In order to qualify to hold a PPL, you have to be assessed as a “Fit and Proper Person”. The application form for the issue of your license includes questions on matters such as your court conviction history. Thus, you must demonstrate an acceptable respect for the law for the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to have confidence in your ability to fly within the Civil Aviation Rules. You are required to remain a “Fit and Proper” person throughout your flying career.
    • The minimum requirement to get this Private Pilot License is 45 hours of flight training - You must record every flight in your flying logbook. The details include the date of each flight, the aircraft type and registration, the name of your instructor, the duration of your flight, where you went, and what you did.
    • There are six (6) papers for Private Pilot License examination that are set at about the same level as SPM or O-level examinations. A passing mark of 70 percent or greater is required. Learning about the flying environment, and your aircraft, is part of being a safe and competent pilot. Your flying club or flying school will help you to prepare for these examinations. You do not have to pass these examinations before you begin your flying lessons, but it is advisable to sit for the papers progressively while learning to fly, as examination passes are required before you can fly solo cross-countries. Subjects include: Air Navigation and Flight Planning, Aircraft Technical Knowledge, Meteorology, Human Factors, VFR Communications and Air Law.
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL): This license will allow you to earn from flying and be a paid professional pilot. You will need to be at least 18 years old.
    • You must have a Private Pilot License (PPL) to convert this to a Commercial Pilot License (CPL), a Class 1 Medical Certificate and meet the English Language Proficiency (at least to Level 4).
    • The total flight time requirements is at least 200 flight hours (of which 165 hours are on single-engine aeroplane and another 35 hours on twin-engine aeroplane).
    • Students will have to pass examinations on 12 subjects including 9 EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).
    • Holder of a foreign Commercial Pilot License will be required to undergo an abridged course in an Approved Flying Training Organisation where they have to do a minimum of 35 hours of flight training and pass all the Navigational papers.
  • Instrument Rating: If you want to expand your employment options with a view to becoming an airline pilot, you will need an Instrument Rating. This allows you to fly in clouds while navigating with reference to the aircraft instruments.
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): This is the highest level of Pilot License both in Malaysia and 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). The requirements are:
    • At least 21 years old
    • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) including Instrument Rating
    • Class 1 Medical Certificate
    • Flight Logbook with a Total Flight Time of at least 1,500 hours

If you have any questions so far, please do send us a message or check out all the Flight Schools in Malaysia.


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 Captain in Malaysia you will earn around MYR 14,000 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?