Quick Guide in Getting Your Pilot Licenses in the Philippines

Pilots in the Philippines are certificated to fly aircraft by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) under four categories. These include Student Pilot License (SPL), Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), and Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).

Student Pilot License (SPL)

This is the first pilot license that one would need to be able to fly an airplane. You will need this certificate until you reach 40 to 50 hours of total flight time and get your PPL. An SPL is good for 24 months and the process to get this is simple. You will also need a Pilot Medical Certificate for this. Usually you would get hold of these certificates together.

Private Pilot License (PPL)

If you are a licensed private pilot license holder, you are allowed to enjoy a special privilege only few people have a chance to encounter, such as hop in an airplane and explore the skies, take part in volunteer search and rescue mission, and other personal activities. Unfortunately, a private pilot cannot fly or โ€œwork for hireโ€.

To get this license one should pass the PPL course which usually takes up three to six months. You must also complete the required minimum of 40 hours of widespread flight training. The hours of flight time consists of at least 20 hours of dual flight instruction, at least 10 hours of solo flight, and 10 hours of which can be solo flights or dual. In order to have a license, you must become certified as a full-pledged private pilot by CAAP. The requirements for having the license are:

  • At least 17 years of age
  • At least a High School Graduate
  • Holds 2nd Class Medical Certificate
  • Flight Logbook (at least 40 Hours)
  • NBI Clearance
  • Passed the ATO Knowledge test
  • Passed the ATO Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination (Check ride)
  • NTC License (Radio telephony)

Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

An important requirement to become licensed Commercial Pilot is a Private Pilot license. Meaning, you canโ€™t become a commercial pilot if you donโ€™t have a PPL. CPL serves as your ticket to get a job, and get paid as a pilot. You will need about 220 hours of total flight time to get your CPL.  The requirements for this license are:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • At least a High School Graduate
  • Holds a valid 1st Class Medical Certificate
  • Flight Logbook
  • NBI Clearance
  • Passed the ATO Knowledge test
  • Passed the ATO Practical Flight test and Oral Examination (Check ride)
  • Multi Engine and Instrument Rating
  • English Language Proficiency at least Level 4
  • NTC License ( Radio Telephony)

Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

ATPL is the highest level pilot license. It allows the license holder to fly professionally as a pilot in command of multi-crew aircraft with a commercial airline company. This requires at least 1,500 hours of flight time to qualify for this license. The requirements for this license are:

  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • OFSAM Medical Certificate (Class 1)
  • Flight logbook of Flying time (at least 1,500 Hours)
  • ATO Certificate of ATPL Ground training
  • NTC License
  • English Language Proficiency (at least level 4)


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