The Requirements to Become a Pilot

Nov 17, 2021

It can be confusing as to exactly what is required in order to become a professional pilot. As discussed in this article you are going to need an ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence). On this page we are going to go through everything required in order to obtain your ATPL.


Becoming an airline pilot is a big commitment and will take time. At FlyBy we know you want to get into a commercial pilot job as soon as possible. We’ve streamlined our course and invested heavily in facilities, aircraft and instructors to allow you to complete your training in only 14 months. Have a read of another article I wrote about how we are able to offer this when many flight schools take two years or longer – 14 Month ATPL.

Due to the course only taking 14 months you will be required to dedicate all of your time to the training. We do have a two week break over the Christmas period in December where our students will be able to return home if they please. Our theoretical classes are Monday to Friday, but students may be scheduled to fly on any day of the week. Unfortunately, this means there is no time to work part time alongside your studies. In the past, people have tried to do so and quickly fell behind with their studies. Be prepared to let aviation take over your life for 14 months. For some, this probably sounds like a dream come true!


Unfortunately for many, funding training to become a commercial pilot is often the greatest challenge. Long gone are the days when airlines will pay for candidates to complete training. Scholarships are a thing of the past. These days flight training is paid for by the student. Some schools ask for all of the payment upfront, but this is strongly advised against. Usually you will be required to pay a fee for the admission tests, then a down payment followed by installments for the remaining amount. This is what we do here at FlyBy, splitting the cost of the ATPL across the 14 month course.

Be sure to check what is included in the course fee as many schools will not disclose additional fees that you will then be required to pay later on. The FlyBy ALL INCLUSIVE ATPL is unique in Europe, taking care of all of the costs with no hidden fees.

For the payment schedule please and a comprehensive list of the items included in the course fee please see this page of our website – FlyBy ATPL.

If funding is an issue for you, please make sure to contact banks or government departments in your home country to see if you can obtain a loan or student finance.

We will do all we can to support your application so make sure to ask them exactly what they require in order to be successful.


Every pilot needs to have a medical exam to ensure they are fit to fly. Currently, any pilots who are under the age of 60 need to have an annual check up. Those who are over 60 have them every 6 months. (As well as pilots over 40 who fly single pilot commercial air transport). People with an EASA Pilot licence will need to obtain an EASA Medical. Here at FlyBy Aviation Academy, the cost of your initial Class 1 medical is included in our all-inclusive course fee.

During the medical evaluation you will get a full health examination including vision test, hearing test, heart functioning, blood/urine samples, and a general health exam.

Vision: Measure eyesight and vision, colour vision, blind spots or any issues with your vision that could prevent you from performing your duties as a pilot (glasses are allowed in most cases).
Hearing: Measure hearing through an audiogram, balance test, check sinuses.
Heart: Measure the heart with an ECG (includes rest- and exercise ECG).
Blood samples: Measure hemoglobin value (to see that you have the capacity to transport oxygen around the body – your ability to carry oxygen is important so that you don’t pass out when flying), cholesterol test.
Urine samples: Measure leakages of blood and sugar level that is one indication of diabetes, drug samples if needed.
General health exam: Listening to the heart and lungs, checking reflexes.

You would also need to fill out questions about your health and medical history, like if you are taking any medicines or suffering from any allergies. You can also expect questions about your relative’s health status or if there is any illness running in the family.

A very common misconception is that all pilots have perfect 20/20 vision. This isn’t the case. In the past it was a requirement but these days pilots are allowed to wear corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses). For those of you who require corrective lenses, it is mandatory to carry a spare pair of glasses with you any time that you are flying.

If you are unsure as to whether you are able to obtain a Class 1 Medical, you should contact an Aeronautical Medical Examiner (AME) who is authorised to provide EASA Class 1 Medicals and ask them about your specific situation.

For in depth guidelines on the medical requirements for Pilots please see the official EASA Medical Requirements.


Many people believe you need a university degree in order to become a commercial pilot. Whilst it is true that those with a degree will be favoured when compared with the same student with less education, it isn’t a requirement to join all airlines. There are pilots flying for airlines around the world who have completed a high school education and nothing further. For this reason, to join FlyBy Aviation Academy we suggest that you have completed at least high school level education.

You will find that most pilots have completed higher education – the equivalent of A levels – but less than you would imagine have a degree from university. There are also a lot of aviation related degrees but again, they aren’t mandatory. If you are trying to choose subjects for higher education, choose something you are passionate about that has transferable skills in communication, team working, leadership and problem solving.

Life experience often plays a role in the success of an application with an airline. It often demonstrates your drive and ability to adapt and overcome challenges. If you don’t have much of a formal education yet have experience traveling or working this can easily make up for training received in a classroom.


Joining the FlyBy Integrated ATPL course is a great way to start your aviation career. Our graduates fly for many airlines around the world and we have an excellent reputation for value and customer satisfaction within the pilot training industry.

To be offered a place to study with us here at FlyBy we require the following from you:

●  Be at least 17 years of age to apply (18 to commence training)

●  Be able to obtain an EASA Class 1 medical without restrictions (To be taken upon arrival to Spain).

●  Mandatory: Passing our admission tests which include Personality, English, Mathematics and Physics.

●  Suggested: Completed secondary or high school education.

Please note, we do not require any academic qualifications, you just need to pass our admission exams.

To begin your application or to see more information about the admission tests please see the following page on the FlyBy website:

Are you ready to get started?