It is a well-known fact that pilot training is expensive. This extraordinary dream is tied down to such a realistic issue as money.
According to the current aviation market requirements, in order to fly the airlines, one has to be in possession of an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and have a type rating, base training as well as line training certificates which all sometimes have to be paid out of the student’s pocket. Of course, after landing a job in an airline the training costs eventually pay off, yet it does not come as a consolation when seeking for a dream. The truth has to be faced – it is such a money absorbing activity that sometimes becoming a pilot, unfortunately, remains nothing but just a life time obsession for many.
The increasing demand for pilots has been lately reflected in Boeing statistics. According to data, about 465,000 new pilots will be needed worldwide between now and 2031. While airlines are set to delivered more commercial jetliners each year. This will increase the demand for pilots and should probably change the narrative for prospective pilots. Sounds promising but is it really so?
Statistics seldom lie – the increasing demand proves that a career as a pilot is one of the most perspective professions worldwide. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ‘the growth in pilot demand is just a question of time. Sooner or later the expansion of the aviation market will lead to the situation that was witnessed a few years ago – airlines will hire again and have no choice but to pay for pilots training. If you want to be prepared for a job in airlines and start working as soon as possible – invest; if you wish to find someone to fund your training – simply wait.’
It is true that ‘time is money’. One of the key advantages of the ATPL Integrated course is its length – the program is structured in the way that a student can gain all the required knowledge and skills in two years or less. During the course students study very intensively, without any brakes. Although such a ‘fast track’ programe allows them to gain the ATPL (A) licenses quicker, it requires investing about twenty per cent more compared to a Modular Programme.
In the meantime, a Modular course, which may last up to 3 years or as long as a particular person needs, offers an opportunity to divide the program into modules. It is the best option for those who wish to combine work with the aviation studies. For instance, if a person has the money to pay for the Private Pilot License course only, after passing the license exam he can suspend his further studies for a period of time in order to raise additional funds needed for continuing the ATPL (A) theory and flight Program .
Well! Nothing is impossible, whilst involved in the aviation training business you become familiar with many people who have decided to become pilots for many distinct reasons. The one thing that unites them all is a persistent goal pursuit. Take any job related to aviation. The opportunity to get acquainted with aviation from ‘behind the scenes’ which gives you an insightful view of the infrastructure and the entire system as well as teaches you about the requirements for people working in this sphere.
‘While I’m looking for finances everywhere to resume my training, I have decided not to get too distant from the environment I see myself working in the future. For three years now I have been reading anything aviation related on the organizational level and I have gained valuable knowledge in market tendencies, learnt about most common mistakes among students and found out the best steps you have to take in order to achieve the goal right from the Private Pilot License (PPL) to the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).’
There are many obstacles to overcome on the way towards becoming a professional pilot, however, aviation is not economics or law – it is a remarkable profession. Remember pilots are born, they are not made. The Sky is home. To my brothers and sisters in aviation all facing the same financial predicament, just don’t give up we shall command the skies together someday press on.
By Afema Ronnie
Aspiring Commercial pilot