How to become a Pilot in the Philippines

Philippines

41 Flight Schools are currently approved in the country (August 2019), the largest number of Flight Schools in any South East Asian country - with the Philippines being a very popular training country not only for Filipino's but also a large number of Asian and Middle Eastern countries

Entry Requirements

Private Pilot License: At least 17 years old, be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language, Class 2 medical certificate. Commercial Pilot License: At least 18 years old, High School Graduate, be able to read, write, speak and understand Aviation English at at least Level 4 and have a Class 1 medical certificate

The Philippines is one of the most popular Pilot Training countries in Asia due to it's English speaking population and large number of Flight Schools. The country with more than 100 million people and 7,600 islands has more than 40 Flight Schools training both Filipino's and students from all over the world (it has a number of advantages which are described in this article). Low cost of living and generally good weather make the Philippines an attractive destination for Pilot Training and as being a Pilot is one of the top salary jobs in the country becoming a pilot is the dream of many.

One of the main questions Aviationfly.com receives is How to become a Pilot in the Philippines. The country has a number of large airlines such as Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia Philippines and a strong general aviation industry providing plenty of job opportunities.

 

Basic information

Key things to consider to understand How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines are:

  • Age: The minimum age to start your pilot training is 16 years old when you can receive a Student Pilot License and the retirement age for airline pilots actively flying is 67 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 then go to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Head Office and have your self assessed by an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).
  • Educational requirement: It is important to note at this point that while you can get a Student Pilot License, Private Pilot License and Commercial Pilot License with a High School degree that if you want to work for one of the large airlines a College degree is a minimum requirement.
  • 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.

 

Licenses and Training Syllabus (Course) Requirements

The guide on How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines starts off with the licenses and training syllabus (course) requirements for each Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) license:

  • Student Pilot License (SPL): If you are doing your flight training in the Philippines 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 it will be valid for 24 months.
  • 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.
    • Complete and know basic principles of aviation including: Theory of Flight, Air Traffic Communications and Control, Civil Air Regulations, Basic Principles of Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Performance, and Weight and Balance
    • The minimum requirement to get this Private Pilot License is 40 hours of flight training
    • At least 20 hours of dual flight instruction
    • At least 10 hours of solo flight
    • 10 hours which can be dual or solo flight
    • Passed the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Knowledge Test
    • Passed the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination (Check Ride)
    • National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) License (Radio Telephony)
  • 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 will need to already have a Private Pilot License (PPL) to convert this to a Commercial Pilot License (CPL), a Class One Medical Certificate and meet the English Language Proficiency (at least to Level 4)
    • The total flight time requirements is at least 150 flight hours (made up of a minimum of 110 hours of flight training in the CPL stage and the 40 hours from the Private Pilot License training.
    • Passed the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Knowledge Test
    • Passed the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination (Check Ride)
    • National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) License (Radio Telephony)
    • Additional licenses are Instrument Rating and Multi-Engine Rating explained below
  • 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: While not a requirement currently in the Philippines to join the airlines getting your Multi-Engine Rating will allow you to operate large multi-engine aircraft - you will need to log 10 to 15 flight hours before doing the Check Ride
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): This is the highest level of Pilot License both in the Philippines 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:
    • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) including Instrument Rating
    • Class 1 Medical Certificate
    • Flight Logbook with a Total Flight Time of at least 1,500 hours
    • Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Certificate of ATPL Ground training
    • National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) License (Radio Telephony)
    • English Language Proficiency (at least level 4)

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

 

Step by Step Guide of How to become a Pilot in the Philippines

Step 1. Research

The first step on how to become a pilot in the Philippines is to research the different options you have to become a Pilot. Start of by researching online, Aviationfly.com, Google, Youtube, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, 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 the Philippines. You can also click the yellow SPEAK WITH US button to send Aviationfly.com a message to get answers to your questions. Aviationfly.com has a database of hundreds of Pilot Schools including all the Flight Schools in the Philippines 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 getting 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 the Philippines or abroad (if you want to learn more about the options of doing your flight training abroad in countries such as the United States which is very popular for Filipino's 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). You can contact us and we can provide you with the latest information on Airline Cadet Pilot Programs in the Philippines if you click on the yellow button
    • Join the Military (Philippine Air Force): Get your flight training sponsored by joining the Military - you will have to stay with the Military for 12 years after completing your training before you are allowed to apply to commercial airlines

If you are interested to learn more about the different low cost options you have to become a Pilot check out this article.

  • Different Job Opportunities
    • 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

Step 2. Minimum requirement

The second step of how to become a pilot in The Philippines is to meet the minimum requirement set by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). In order for you to obtain an CAAP Commercial Pilot License you will need to have passed High School, be over the age of 18 and passed the Class 1 Medical.

Step 3. Selecting a Flight School

The next step on how to become a Pilot in the Philippines is selecting a Flight School if it will be an airline cadet pilot program, a flight school in the Philippines or a Flight School abroad (for example in the United States). Lower down you will find tips on how to select the right flight school for you.

It is important to know that becoming a pilot does require a certain budget - the minimum is around approx. US$50,000 - 80,000 and higher depending on the country you do your training in, the school you pick and a number of other factors. Aviationfly.com through its database knows of the best deals and packages so if you are interested click the yellow SPEAK WITH US button and Aviationfly.com will send you the information.

Step 4. Training

To answer your question on how to become a pilot in the Philippines (let us assume an Airline Pilot) the usual route is getting your Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License, Multi-Engine Rating and Instrument Rating. Following this the next step on how to become a pilot in the Philippines would be to do a Type Rating (training specialized on the type of Aircraft you will fly - for example Airbus A320). The type rating is sometimes sponsored by the Airline, if you already have your commercial pilot license and are looking to do a type rating or for an Airline job then contact Aviationfly.com through the yellow SPEAK WITH US button. Training will take between 1 to 3 years depends on the country you do your flight training in and flight school you pick.

See below a list of points and tips you should consider when selecting 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 as to what drives the cost 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?