The Differences Between an ATPL Integrated Program and a Modular Flight School Program

Dec 29, 2020

The majority of the students weigh between various training programs to find the best one for them. Not everyone makes the right decision off the bat and regrets they did not put more research into their decision early.

One distinction that every prospective pilot needs to understand is the difference between an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) integrated program and a modular program. Students may not fully understand the difference between the two when learning about becoming a pilot.

This article will clarify some of the differences so you can make an informed decision on what is best for your future.

Modular Flight School Program: What is it?

Assuming you are fresh from a previous pilot training, you may want to join an aviation program that will enable you to scale up the ladder in the next steps. This flight path is more typical of a modular program – a training path that takes a series of separate steps or modules that hopefully one day accumulate into all the core elements and licenses needed to become a successful commercial airline pilot.

What are the advantages of the module-based flight school program?

The program is custom based on fitting your needs. You can either choose to do it on a part-time or full-time basis. You also have room to select the rate at which you want to progress. For people on a limited budget and are funding their education with a full or part time job, this might be the only way to complete their flight training program.

The training will still require you to dedicate much of your time to it even if you are doing it alongside another job.

The big disadvantage of this program is obviously the time and expense because it is not a terribly efficient way to earn your pilot’s license.

What is an integrated program?

You may not have any prior experience flying a plane and might want to just become a pilot as quickly as possible. If this describes you an integrated program will best suit your needs. It is a training program that does not command any prior experience nor knowledge. It only requires your passion and enthusiasm as it is an intense integrated experience that will take you from zero flight knowledge to being qualified to become a commercial pilot in as little as 14 months. There are no stops between modules, no overlaps in curriculum, and no doubts as to whether you are missing on once specific skill needed. It is everything you need to become a pilot.

What are the benefits of choosing an integrated program over a modular?

Below are some of the benefits of choosing an ATPL integrated training program over other courses.

1. A comprehensive program

If you are looking for a course that will take you through the detailed learning process, then the integrated program is a good one for you. In an intense course like the one at FlyBy Aviation Academy you can achieve everything you need in as little as 14 months. If you already have your private pilot’s license and a qualifying number of flight hours, that can be shaved further down to as little as 11 months.

You will receive the theoretical classroom instruction in addition to the in the air training in a variety of aircraft. You will also learn to fly large commercial jets using sophisticated and realistic flight simulators. You will receive your commercial pilots license, instrument rating, multi-crew cooperation training, and everything else you need to be a successful airline pilot.

2. Focused program

The program has one goal and a series of highly vetted processes to get you your pilot certifications in the shortest about of time possible. If you take a modular program you can waste time between programs, have overlapping skills between modules that waste time, or you might miss learning something important if your training is not designed correctly. Thus, an integrated program is the fastest, least expensive (considering cost of living during your full-time training) and most efficient way to get your flight education. It also forces the students give the course the full attention it deserves because integrated programs can be quite intense. It is not a program built for a “hobby” pilot.

3. Does not require additional tests and qualifications

If you go from one module to another, schools might want to test or qualify your knowledge from prior programs. After all, not all learning experiences are the same. Some of your in-flight hours might not transfer over. If you stick with a single institution throughout your entire training, this is not something you will have to deal with.

What are the requirements to successfully undertake the program?

Below are some of the essential aspects you have to consider before taking the course:

1. Age and height

There are different age requirements for the program. Considering that you may be fresh from your previous school, you are required to be 17 years of age to apply.

Some people may think that you can commence the training after submitting your application. Although, that’s not the case. You must be 18 plus years to start the training. It means that there can be a one-year difference in the age of submission and training.

In the Class 1 medical there is no limitation regarding height. Of course, you have to be able to fly an airplane without any troubles caused by your height. That is why most flight schools and companies take a minimum height requirement of 150 cm and a maximum of 205 cm. This is due to the space in the cockpit and the possible seat and/or rudder pedal adjustments.

2. Medical

You must be in stable health to take the training effectively. You are required to have an EASA class 1 medical certificate. With the credentials, you will be eligible to apply for the course and commence it when you are at least 18 years.

3. Personality Test

You must pass a personality test in order to begin training at most flight schools. This is to make sure that the pilot is mentally stable and has the proper disposition for being a pilot.

4. Sufficient Math and Physics Skills

Most flight schools will give you a math and physics exam to qualify you for flight school. You do need to be reasonably proficient in math and science to fly and navigate an aircraft. However, if you fail the math and physics tests it is not the end of the world. You will just have to finish some remedial courses before entering flight school.

5. English Language Skills

English happens to be the international language for pilots. As a result, most schools require you to be proficient in English. As with math and physics, if you do not pass an English qualification test you will likely have to improve your language skills prior to starting training.


Finally, choosing to continue with the training program to scale further should remain your top-notch priority. Remember that pilot licensing will bring a lot of opportunities on your way. Therefore, you need to undertake better training to prepare you for them. A training program like the Airline Transport Pilot License will be the best for you to excel in your aviation career.

To learn more about FlyBy’s integrated ATPL program, click here.

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