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Is Cadet Pilot Program better?

Updated: Mar 10

A brand costs many Grands in flight training

Many of Airline Pilot aspirants have this question, is cadet Pilot program better. Before coming to a logical answer lets visit few facts.

Traditional Flight Training

A traditional flight training program begins once an aspirant has passed 10+2 with maths and physics. With medical assessment and other formal requirements in place, he or she can approach a flight school or a ground school to initiate the journey. Theory exams to be passed with minimum 70% marks conducted by Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). With 200 flying training hours along with English proficiency test, one can apply for issue of Commercial Pilot License (CPL). CPL alone usually not enough for airline eligibility. A type rating of specific airline aircraft to be done. With CPL + type rating, candidates can apply for airline flying the type rated aircraft. Airline selected candidates undergoes airline mandated internal trainings to land inside real aircraft.

Estimated cost of CPL these days is around Rs. 40-45 lacs whereas type rating may cost around Rs. 18 – 20 lacs. Both put together, a budget of approximately Rs. 65 lacs to be planned. Stay and other associated costs usually does not come in this.

Cadet Pilot Programs

Cadet Pilot Programs are managed by airlines. Selection of candidates are done by an assessment test after 10+2. Selected candidates are sent for training that covers almost same requirements of traditional Flight Training program i.e. theory papers, 200 hours of flying leading to CPL + type rating. A certain training standard is laid by the airline to its vendor flight schools. Airline Cadet Pilot programs are now a separate vertical within airline generating revenue for them along with Pilots for their needs. The advantage of opting for Cadet Pilot Program is letter of intent at the stat of program that says if selected candidate completes the training with laid out requirements, he or she will be given an offer to join their Airline. This reduces the step of job hunting after CPL + Type rating.

Estimated cost of usual Cadet Pilot Programs are anywhere just over Rs. 1 Cr. That is 50% more then Traditional Flight Training cost.

Comparison between Traditional Pilot training and Cadet Pilot Programs

  • Cost wise as mentioned there is a difference of around 50%. Cadet Pilot Program costs 50% more i.e. approx Rs. 30 - 35 lacs more.

  • Considering initial pay scale of Airline Pilots, this is equivalent to more than salary of an year that an entrant airline pilot makes.

  • Training standa