Steps to Become a Pilot

Are you thinking about becoming a commercial pilot?



1. VISIT OuR Academy

A pilot training course is an investment in your future. Prospective students are invited to a book a visit to our academy. Our senior instructors will be on hand to help guide you on the best training plan for you. Meet our students, see our classroom facilities and visit our operations center where our fleet of aircraft and simulators are located.

Attend a Seminar

Why not attend one of the AFTA’s many pilot training seminars? These are held across Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Pilot training seminars are a great opportunity for you to meet with some of our instructors, discover more about AFTA and the pilot training courses we provide. These seminars are free and open for everyone to attend.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our seminars in the near future!

See More Upcoming Seminars

Book a Visit To Our Academy

Plan a date to come and visit our academy. This is a great opportunity for you to meet the team here at AFTA. Our senior Flight Instructors will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, offer guidance on the best training route for you, and give you an insight into your training at AFTA and life as a commercial pilot.

You will then visit our flight operations centre to see our fleet of aircraft and simulators.

Please fill in this form and a member of our team will contact you to book your visit.

Book a Visit To Our Academy

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2. Book a Flight

At AFTA we are training you for your future career as a captain of a commercial aircraft . However gaining firsthand experience of how it feels to fly in a light aircraft will give you a taste of flight training and help you decide if this is the career for you.

modular or integrated Training courses

3. Choose Integrated or modular

There are two routes you can choose to become a commercial pilot with AFTA:

1. Fully Integrated Training Program:

This is an intensive full time 16 – 18 month training programme.

Integrated Training

2. The Modular Training Programme

This is a more flexible programme which can be spread out over a longer period of time. People who have other commitments find this method ideal.

Modular Training


4. Arrange an assessment

When you have decided if you would like to apply for the integrated training programme, the Stobart mentored programme or the Ryanair mentored programmes you should arrange your assessment. Modular students are not required to sit an assessment.

This assessment process is designed to assess if you have the academic capabilities, handling ability and personal skills to help you complete your training. It also provides you with an opportunity to determine if you possess the required skill set to fulfill the requirements of the training. Our partners the Airline Pilot Club (APC) have launched an Indicative Assessment .The IA is designed to give you a strong indication as to whether you have the abilities and personality characteristics necessary to become an airline Pilot.

1. The CUT-E Test

You will be emailed a link and you complete this section of the assessment at home. This is a computerised pilot screening system which assesses work related behaviour, situational behaviour, inductive logical thinking, reaction speed, spatial orientation, multi-tasking capability and complex control.

2. Simulator Check

After successfully passing the CUT-E test, you will be invited to attend the academy. You will complete a simulator aptitude test. After a short briefing you will be instructed to perform some basic manoeuvres. This is to assess your trainability, capacity and interaction with an instructor.

3. The Interview

This part of the process is an opportunity for you to tell us why you would make a good airline pilot. The instructors want to be sold on your commitment and dedication towards the training and the career. You will be tested on your technical and non-technical skills. Non- technical skills include areas such as communication, leadership and decision making. Technical skills would include, basic knowledge of aircraft systems, and how they fly. There will also be some mental math’s questions included here.

BOOK YOUR class 1 or class 2 MEDICAL

5. Book Your medical

All commercial pilots are required to maintain a class 1 medical for the duration of their career. Students enrolling on an integrated programme must have a class one medical before commencing training.

All modular students applying for the CPL licence must have a valid class 1 medical. Your class 1 medical records must be held in the EU state that will issue the initial licence. For example if you wish to have your licence issued by the Irish aviation authority your medical records need to be with the Irish Aviation Authority. If your medical records are not held in the same state, then you must do a state of licence issue transfer. Once the licence has been issued, you can do the revalidation of the medical with any EASA member state, but you must remember to send a copy of the medical to your license issuing state to keep your records current.

Private Pilots Licence (PPL) holders: A Class 2 medical is sufficient if you only intend to obtain a PPL for leisure purposes only and have no intention of becoming a professional pilot.