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Paths into aviation ✈

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

There’s several paths within the aviation industry and to be honest, I was slightly overwhelmed with it all when I first started looking into this career.


Maybe some things have changed since I did my research about two years ago but I thought I’d discuss the various routes I discovered and why I chose the one I did.

The most important thing I can say is that each route will suit different individuals - also this is purely information from my own research so please don’t take it as perfect! Hope it helps 😊


If you wish to fly for an airline - there are three accepted routes in the UK to obtaining a licence; Integrated, Modular and Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL). The Integrated and Modular routes lead to the same licence - the Frozen ATPL. As for the MPL route, once you have reached correct level of experience you can actually apply for the ATPL.


✈ Integrated

Before being selected onto this programme you must pass a selection test. You follow a syllabus with four main elements: Flight Training (Basic and Advanced), Multi Crew Cooperation Course (MCC), Jet Orientation Course (JOC), Airline Preparation Course.


Once you have completed these you will be issued with an ATPL. The downside to this course is the cost. However the main advantage and the reason I chose to do this route is that you are trained by a single organisation so have continuity in your training, which when I was researching, I found was something the airlines liked.

Once completed you will have 195 hours Flight Training (Actual and Simulator) and 750 hours Ground School.


✈ Modular route

You get the same license as the Integrated but it offers more flexibility and you can work at a pace that suits you and your finances. The biggest differences is that you don’t start the commercial training until after you have a PPL and minimum 150hrs. You must have at least 200 hours before you can apply for a CPL (A).


✈ Multi-crew license

This is a relatively new concept and should be considered if you want to fly for a specific airline on a certain type of aircraft. It allows the holder to exercise the privileges of the Frozen ATPL but is limited to a specific type, certificated for multi pilot operation only. It has fewer flying hours, but more simulator hours.

Once you have reached the correct level of experience, you can apply for the ATPL. The course minimums are 240hrs flying, 70hrs actual flying 170hrs on sims, and 750hrs of ground school.

Information from BALPA - The inside track, which I found incredibly helpful when researching, and definitely worth a read!




A tradition at our school once a student goes on their first solo flight is that their instructor will cut their tie.
Cutting of the ties - a tradition after your first solo

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