Airline Transport Pilots Licence

If your dream is to fly for an airline, or to become a Captain of an aircraft weighing more than 5700kg, then you will need to complete your ATPL.


  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Hold a valid Class I medical certificate
  • Hold a valid Instrument Rating
  • The SACAA requires that you pass 6 theoretical subjects (which can be completed as soon as you obtain your CPL):
    • Navigation General
    • Meteorology
    • Aircraft Technical and General
    • Flight Planning
    • Instruments
    • Radio Aids

  • After passing your last ATPL subject you will have 5 years to complete a minimum of 1500 flying hours, of which:
    • 500 hours must be pilot-in-command-under-supervision; or
    • 250 hours must be as pilot-in-command, of which up to 150 hours may be pilot-in-command-under-supervision; and
    • 200 hours must be cross-country flight time, of which 100 hours may be as co-pilot or pilot-in-command-under-supervision;
    • 75 hours must be instrument time, of which not more than 30 hours may be acquired in a flight simulation training device (FSTD) approved for the purpose; and
    • 100 hours shall be night flight time as pilot-in-command or as co-pilot.

  • The 1 500 hours flying experience referred to may comprise flight time in any of the following capacities –
    • As pilot-in-command, counted in full;
    • As pilot under instruction (dual), counted in full;
      • As co-pilot performing under the supervision of the pilot-in-command the functions and duties of the pilot-in-command, counted in full up to a maximum of 500 hours, provided both pilots have completed multi-crew cooperation training;
      • As an appropriately rated co-pilot, counted in full;
      • As student pilot-in-command and as student pilot-in-command-under-supervision up to a maximum of 50 hours towards the pilot-in-command time required for the issue of an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (Aeroplane), counted in full, provided that the Part 141 aviation training organisation has been authorised by the Commissioner to allow the logging of student pilot-in-command-under-supervision flight time;
      • A maximum of 100 hours may have been completed in an flight simulation training device (FSTD) of which a maximum of 25 hours may have been completed in a flight procedures trainer 1 (FNPT 1), or, where the training is provided in an integrated training course, 40 hours in an FNPT II, which may include 10 hours in an FNPT 1;
      • Up to 50 percent of the 1 500 hours may be completed in helicopters;
      • A maximum of 30 hours flight time in touring motor gliders, gliders, micro light aircraft (excluding a weight-shift micro light aeroplane, or an aeroplane with a maximum take-off mass of less than 450 kg), may be counted towards the 1 500 hours experience requirement.
      • A South African Air Force pilot flight instructor or navigator instructor may apply for exemption for some or all of these requirements
  • Pass a Flight Test with a Designated Flight Examiner