Thursday, 29 September 2011

Education Q&A: Aviation and a BBA

My son is currently in grade 12 doing an International Baccalaureate Diploma in India with physics, chemistry and maths. He would like to be a commercial pilot. I would like to know which flight schools or universities offer this course in India and what kind of job opportunities are available after he finishes the course? Kishor, Sharjah
Your son needs to be 17 years old and has to finish his 10+2 with physics and maths. He will need to get his Student Pilot Licence (SPL) and then start his training for the PPL (Private Pilot Licence). This requires 60 hours of flying time (solo, dual and cross-country flying). He will also be required to clear the Air Regulation, Air Navigation, Aviation Metrology examinations after which he is eligible to start working towards his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). In India, the PPL normally costs around Rs250,000 (Dh18,575). To get the CPL he will need a minimum 250 hours of flying time. It normally costs Rs1,000,000.
You have the option of training either in government-run or private pilot schools. Whatever you choose, it is important to ensure that the school is accredited by the competent authorities. There are quite a few fly-by-night operators and these should be avoided. The Civil Aviation Centre at Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi, has more information.
I would also suggest you explore CPL training courses in the US, Canada and Southeast Asia as the fees there are more reasonable than those in India. The training period in US flight schools is six to nine months. Training flights in India tend to get delayed as most schools do not have the required number of planes, fuel and qualified teachers. If your son completes his course in the US, he will be required to pass some exams to obtain an Indian licence.

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