Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) CertificationHow to Earn Your ATP Certificate?
For most pilots, the final milestone before beginning your airline pilot career is obtaining the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. This is the highest level of pilot certificate obtainable and a remarkable achievement. While a commercial certificate allows an aviator to work (and earn money) as a professional pilot, the ATP certificate can be found as a requirement for most professional pilot jobs.
Why Should I Get My ATP Certification?
Pilots with an ATP certificate are eligible to fly for an airline and will meet the hiring minimums of most regional airline pilot jobs. An ATP certification will also open a wide array of job opportunities with various corporate and private air carriers. After meeting some specific requirements, ATP pilots may also instruct other pilots in air transportation service, and endorse pilot logbooks and training records in aircraft of the same category, class, and type for which the airline transport pilot is rated. “Type” refers to “type rating” which is additional training beyond the training required for an initial ATP certificate. A type rating allows a pilot to act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft that exceeds 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight, or all turbojet aircraft regardless of weight.
What Is the ATP-CTP?
Pilots applying for an ATP certificate with a multi-engine class rating or jointly with a type rating after July 31, 2014 must satisfactorily complete an airline transport pilot certification training program (ATP-CTP) before applying for the ATP knowledge test. The ATP-CTP course is an informative program including 30 hours of ground instruction covering a myriad of subject matters including aerodynamics, weather, air carrier operations, and 10 hours of simulator time. For many pilots, this is their first introduction to real airline training and training in the airline-oriented full-motion simulators. Following the ATP-CTP course, candidates must pass the ATP knowledge test.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an ATP Certificate?
While the requirements to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot certificate may seem daunting, the training and completion of the requirements is earned over an extended period of time. The timeframe to complete all requirements from a brand new student pilot with no experience to completion of the ATP pilot certificate could be as little as two years for a motivated pilot. Pilots pursuing top-tier aviation jobs should remain focused on the individual goals that eventually culminate in the ATP certificate, setting the stage for the rest of their careers.