Pros & Cons


  • Better training infrastructure
  • Busy and developed civil aviation for enhanced training exposure.
  • Chance to experience second culture
  • Faster flying leads to shorter course duration
  • Some schools offer employment has instructor


  • Expensive housing, transportation and lifestyle pushes the total cost higher
  • Visa and immigration can be a hassle
  • Exams have to be given twice for license conversion in India
  • Cultural difference and language

Popular Destinations

Students mainly choose to train in

  • United States
  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Unites States of America remains the top destination of pilot aspirants from all over the world. Thanks to its developed general aviation market with numerous professional schools, competitive pricing, excellent quality of training and infrastructure, it alone trains more than 10000 international pilots every year.

Flight schools are spread all over the country but most students join schools in the southern states of Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia because of favorable flying conditions.


Flight School

Selecting a flight school is the most difficult task of all. Being physically far away with limited information often leads to a lot of misleading assumptions, confusion and fraud. Most schools advertise DGCA tailored course on their website and are quite reliable but still it’s very important to crosscheck all details to avoid any surprises. Alternatively, students can also use agencies representing foreign flight schools, that can facilitate the entire admission process for a small fee. Irrespective of all the information provided, following parameters needs to be checked before confirming a school:

  • Country visa requirements
  • Right course with all the DGCA required ratings (IR, ME, Night, 200 hours, etc.)
  • Training Syllabus as per DGCA
  • Aircraft model accepted by DGCA
  • Aircraft age and status
  • Features like Glass cockpit, GPS, Modern Avionics
  • Airport and Ground facilities
  • Aircrafts, Instructors and Student Ratio
  • Local weather pattern and flying days per year
  • Total Cost (inclusions and exclusions)
  • Cost of any extra training
  • Any miscellaneous/ hidden charges
  • Accommodation, Transportation, Flight tickets and lifestyle cost needs to be added.

The best way to find out about these parameters is to get it physically checked by your friends and relatives there or students that have recently graduated from there. Below is the list with most popular schools:

United States of America Flight Safety Academy
ATP flight school
Florida Flyers Flight Academy
Phoenix east Aviation (PEA)
Epic Flight Academy
35-45 Lakhs
Canada Brampton Flight Center
Moncton Flight College
Winnipeg Aviation
35-40 Lakhs
Australia Flight Training Adelaide
Learn to Fly, Melbourne
Australian National Airline College
35-45 Lakhs
New Zealand New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy
Air Hawke’s Bay
International Aviation Academy of New Zealand
45 Lakhs
South Africa 43 Air School, Port Alfred 50 Lakhs

Training cost is highly flexible depending on the country and the schools chosen. The range can be vary between 25 lakhs to 50 lakhs. Accommodation, transport and lifestyle can cost around 55000-80000 Rupees per month.

Before Leaving

  • Arrange complete funds so as to avoid any break in training.
  • Complete the visa process. It can be time consuming and exhausting, depending on the country.
  • Get Indian CLASS 2 and CLASS 2 medical to affirm your medical condition.
  • Get DGCA registration and obtain PMR number, Computer number and eGCA id.
  • Enroll for a good ground training institute and pass all DGCA and RTR exams (can be done later as well after return, but recommended way is to complete it before to avoid any delays after arrival).

DGCA Training Requirements

During training, candidates must closely monitor the below requirements and ensure they are completed and recorder/ certified as per DGCA requirements. Once you are finished with the training and received the license, it is very important to organize your documentations. Any shortcoming in documentation will lead to rejection of application and halting the entire process. Arranging or transporting documents at this stage from abroad can be lengthy, complicated and expensive process.

Documents Required


  • Valid foreign CPL
  • Verification letter from issuing State


They will ask you few questions like.

  • Valid foreign Class I Medical Assessment from State of issue

Logbook Requirements

  • Authenticated and verified by authority in the State of Issue of foreign license.
  • At least last 5 years
  • Tests must be signed by the examiners as well
  • Entries
    1. Dates
    2. Aircraft type(single/Multi) and
    3. registration
    4. Crew status (PIC, Co-pilot etc.)
    5. Total time
    6. Sectors
    7. Departure-arrival times
    8. Day & Nights
    9. X-country flights
    10. X-country tests with no. of landings
    11. Skill tests (Day / night / IR with no. of
    12. landings)
    13. Instrument time (actual, simulated in
    14. aircraft),
    15. Simulator flying (separately logged).

Skill Tests

They will ask you few questions like.

  • Valid Certificates of Skill tests for Single and Multi engine
  • Test shall be on performa as laid down in India duly authenticated by the Instructor/ designated representative of State Regulatory Authority


  • 50 hours Cross-country flights (20 hours without IR)
  • Cross-country check reports
  • Cross-country check reports
  • Cross-country check reports
  • 120NM by night while returning to point of departure without landing

Night Rating

  • 5 hours as PIC
  • certificate of 10 take offs and landings each.

Instrument Rating

  • 40 hours Instrument time total (actual on aircraft
  • 20 or more + simulated 20 or less)
  • 5 hours instrument time on actual aircraft in
  • preceding six months (for IR issue)

Multi Engine Rating

  • Record of ground training and pass result of technical exam
  • Statement indicating at least 10 hrs of training on multi engine aircraft for which endorsement is requested(including test/ check)
  • Within 6 months
    1. General flying test by day with three solo take off and landings each,
    2. General flying test Night with three solo take off and landings each
    3. For IR on multi-IR test report with two approaches on aircraft for which multi - endorsement on license is requested.

Additional Training and Certifications

  • ICAO English level proficiency – at least 4/6

Other Requirements

  • IF not done before, Pass results of Air Regulation and Composite Papers covering (Met+Navigation) in DGCA within preceding 30 months from the date of application.
  • Get Indian Class I Medical assessment
  • Get Indian RTR(A)
  • Verification certificates from respective school Boards examination for 10th and 12th with original certificates
  • Fees Rs. 5000 for each issue and Rs 5000 for each aircraft endorsements/ rating to be submitted in the form of Bank Draft Payable to PAO, DGCA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, New Delhi.
  • Flying experience on CA39 form.
  • If six months have elapsed from date of check or if the Flying school is not approved by ICAO contracting state, additional tests from any flying schools in India will need to be conducted.
    1. General Flying Test report by day,
    2. General Flying Test report night
    3. Instrument Rating test (if IR desired)
    4. Signal reception tests report

General Requirements on Date of Application

  • Age above 18
  • Age above 18
  • Qualification - 10+2 Pass with Physics and Math, any recognized board or NOIS national institute of open schooling
  • Verification certificates - 10th and 12th with original and attested certificates
  • Pass in DGCA's Air Regulation and Composite paper (within 30 months)
  • valid RTR(A) from Ministry of Communication
  • Valid foreign license with letter of verification from issuing authority.
  • Valid CLASS 1 medical certificate from state of issue
  • Indian CLASS I medical
  • Certified log book and attested respective flying statements (i.e., within preceding 5yrs, 6months & x-country)
  • One cloth lined Self addressed stamped envelop for dispatch of license by speed post (stamp shall be according to the weight of documents submitted + 200gm)
  • Two photographs imprinted with name at top
  • For issue of IR with CPL submit two more photographs and relevant fee

Flying Requirements on The Date of Application

Checked from certified log book, CA-39 and flying test performas/ certificates

Within 5 years
  • Total 200 hours
  • PIC 100 hours
  • PIC cross-country – 50 hours ( 20 hours without Instrument Rating)
  • Enclose list of cross-country sorties separately
  • One 300NM cross-country with 2 full stop landings
  • Instrument time – 10 hours (atleast 5 hours on aircraft is must)
Within 6 months
  • PIC 15 hours
  • PIC by Night - 5 hours (with atleast 10 take off & 10 landings)
  • General flying test by day with three solo take off and landings each
  • General flying test Night with three solo take off and landings each
  • 250 NM cross-country test by day with one full stop landing at other aerodrome
  • 120 NM X-country test by night (returning to point of dep. without landing)
  • Signal reception test report (eight word per minute)
Instrument Rating Endorsement
  • PIC – 100 hours
  • Solo cross-country-50 hours (enclose list of cross-country sorties separately)
  • Instrument time 40 hours (actual on aircraft 20 hours or more+ simulated 20 hours or less)
  • instrument time on actual aircraft - 5 hours
  • IR test report with two approaches on aircraft for which endorsement on license is requested.
Multi Engine Endorsement
  • Record of ground training and pass result of technical exam
  • Statement indicating at least 10 hours of training on multi engine aircraft for which endorsement is requested (including test/check),
Within 6 months
  • General flying test by day with three solo take off and landings each
  • General flying test Night with three solo take off and landings each
  • IR test report with two approaches on aircraft for which multi -endorsement on license is requested. (for Multi –IR only)

Submission of Documents at DGCA Hheadquarters, New Delhi

  • Date of application is stamped & serial number will be given on application. The application is then sent to director of licensing for processing. interview on 3rd day of submission.
  • Above documents are checked and verified by designated officer. Candidates can also be called for Interview.
  • IF Satisfactory - License issued/ dispatched by speed post & number displayed on DGCA’s website
  • Not satisfactory - Papers returned to applicant with letter giving reasons for rejection for compliance of complete requirement and re submission (no fee refund)
  • Note: In case of rejection, applicant has to meet all the requirements on the date of re-submission