Vietnam has no Flight Schools in the Country, the Flight Training is done in popular destinations such as the US, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia
At least 17 years old, High School Graduate, be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language and pass Doctor Examination
One of the main questions Aviationfly.com receives is How to become a Pilot in Vietnam. Vietnam, a country with 96 million people, currently has 4 big Airlines and a number of smaller Airlines. Well-known airlines such as Vietjet, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Bamboo Airways have all ordered a large number of airplanes which will need more pilots to fly them. Vietjet has hundreds of aircraft on order both from Airbus and Boeing and will need thousands of new pilots over the next few years. The Airlines in Vietnam will have a preference for Vietnamese Nationals (but also accepts International applications) and because of this, it is the perfect time to start your pilot training.
Currently, there are only Simulator Training Centers in Vietnam and there is no Flight Training School which does Flight Training in the Country.
Step by Step Guide on How to become a Pilot in Vietnam
Step 1. Research
Research the different training options you have to become a Pilot in Vietnam. Start of by researching online thru Aviationfly.com, Google, YouTube, Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, 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 Vietnam. You can also click the yellow CONTACT US button to send us a message as we try to help everyone who wants to become a Pilot!
- Different Pilot Training Options
- Flight School: Take your flight training with a Flight School approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) - there are only a few Pilot Schools in the world approved by the CAAV and Aviationfly.com can connect you with the right ones (click the yellow CONTACT US button). To get your Commercial Pilot License in a CAAV approved school, you should take less than 2 years and you should have a budget of more than US$60,000 - that includes Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License, Instrument Rating, and Multi-Engine Rating. The other option is to go for an International Flight School - there is a number of popular countries which Vietnamese nationals go to for Flight Training including the US, Indonesia, Australia, and Europe. If you go for a school which is not Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) approved, you will need to convert your license once you come back from Vietnam (sometimes, this is a long and expensive process). Aviationfly.com knows Pilot Schools which have trained a large number of Vietnamese Pilots before where you can complete your Commercial Pilot License Training in less than 12 months. Following the training you will have to convert your license to Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam license.
- 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 (Vietnam's People 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.
Step 2. Basic Requirements
- Age: You have to be older than 16 years old to start your pilot training using a Student Pilot License. Other Licenses such as Private Pilot License or Commercial Pilot License from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) requires you to be at least 18 years old. The retirement age for airline pilots actively flying in Vietnam 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 then go to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam Head Office and have your self assessed by an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). There are 3 Classes of Medical Certificates and assessments - Class 2 is for Private Pilot Licenses, and Class 1 for Commercial Pilot Licenses and Airline Transport Pilot Licenses.
- Educational requirement: You must have finished your High School education to start your Pilot Training - a College Degree is not a requirement by the airlines hiring in Vietnam.
- 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): To start your Pilot Training you should get a Student Pilot License which requires you to be at least 16 years old, the language requirement for this is only being able to read, speak, write and understand Vietnamese. It is also a requirement to complete a pre-training course for student pilots with a 3 months minimum period. The pre-training course shall be carried out by a training organisation approved by CAAV and include subjects like Aviation History, Specific disciplines in the Aviation Industry and Human Factor in Aviation Activity. By using this license, you are not allowed to fly solo and have to fly under the supervision of an authorized flight instructor.
- 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, demonstrate English language proficiency of Level 4, and hold a Class 2 Medical Certificate.
- Minimum total hours: at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an instructor
- 10 hours of solo flight training
- 5 Solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop
- 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, hold a Class 1 Medical Certificate and demonstrate English language proficiency of Level 4.
- You must already have a Private Pilot License (PPL) to convert this to a Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
- The total flight time requirements is at least 150 flight hours (which must include 70 hours as Pilot in Command - PIC)
- 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.
- Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): This is the highest level of Pilot License both in Vietnam 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:
- Be at least 21 years of age and demonstrate English language proficiency of Level 4
- Valid and current 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 - minimum of 750 hours
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
In Vietnam the pay for Airline Captains is around VND 280,000,000 (US$12,000) per month.
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.