reality check on Pilot training institutes
DGCA has issued over 1700 commercial pilot licenses in 2023 and most of the candidates have completed their training in India. There are numerous flight schools in India and some new flight schools are going to open in near future. We will be discussing the scenario based on below parameters:
Duration of training
Cost of programs
Flight schools in India are spread in north, south and central India. However, in recent past, few flights schools have moved their bases to Central India from northern India due to weather considerations.
Flight schools are mainly located in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Visibility issues persist in winter season for some of these flight schools that at times lead to less flying in winter season. Rajasthan presently has one flight school whereas one more flight school is likely to start operations in 2024.
Kalburagi, Mysore, Bangalore and Belgaum presently has flight schools in Karnataka whereas Hyderabad has multiple flight schools. Weather is more or less fine for flying in these locations. However, airspace restrictions prevail in southern India due to significant presence of military airspace.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujrat has many flight schools. Weather is mostly conducive for flight training in these regions. Usually 300 or more days weather support training. In addition to the same, airspace restrictions are relatively less. Maharashtra is a common choice for flight schools. However, for past few years Madhya Pradesh has came out as a new Flight training destination due to availability of air fields and conducive environment for training.
Duration of Training
Flight schools may claim anywhere between 6 months to 18 months for flight training Commercial Pilot License. However, a fair estimate may fall around 10-14 months if the student clears all his/her theory papers in time and perform well.
A faster training may not always result in great training standards. At the same time, some flight schools are not able to meet committed duration due to any of multiple reasons like, aircraft or instructor availability, management issues or regulatory compliances. There is no one answer to this question.
Private flight schools usually push for faster flying then government run schools.
Cost of Programs
Presently, training cost for commercial pilot license is ranging between 36 lacs to 46 lacs based on which flight school you are opting. Government run flight schools are relatively cheaper than private flight schools. However, speed of training may also vary.
Usual cost break up is
Ground subjects : Rs. 2-3 lacs
Flight Training : Rs. 36–45 lacs
Type training : Rs. 18-20 lacs
Regarding quality standards, we will segregate the same in 2 parameters:
Safety is utmost important when it comes to Aviation. Nothing is more important than following best practices. Any maintenance short cuts may lead to incidences. Therefore, it should be an essential parameter to check about the safety standards of any flight school before choosing it. Incidences may happen even after following safety standards. However, it should not come due to maintenance lapses or poor airmanship training.
Excellence has no alternative. This concept applies to all fields. A well informed and trained Pilot is always desired by airlines and passengers. It is imperative to develop a positive attitude towards things while being well aware of situation. Flight school has a major role to play on shaping up Pilots of coming time. Indian civil aviation regulator is relatively stricter then its European and US counterparts. However, strictness not always ensure better standards.
We recommend that before choosing any flight school, one should consider holistic scenario rather then just going by one or two parameters like cost and duration. Sooner or later one will learn flying. What truly matters is are you a good Pilot or a Pilot.
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