A passion to fly, an interest in aviation technology and a degree obtained abroad in flight training from a reputed college can become a dynamic combination that can result in a promising career. A passion for some, a career for many, and a dream for many more - welcome to the world of aviation.
Up until a few years ago, flights, of fancy or of business, across the vast skies were considered a fairly exclusive preserve of the rich and famous, with the Indian Air Force being the only route a middle class individual could think of to fulfill one’s dream of flying.
Times have changed and so has the aviation scene. Well-reputed institutions, flying clubs and aviation associations have sprung up almost everywhere, within India and overseas, and help in moulding a career in the aviation, one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy.
Though a little expensive as the average flight training programme can cost you anywhere between $45,000 - $1,00,000, the returns start coming back to you soon after graduation. Entry level commercial pilots are paid between $30,000 and $60,000, depending on the size of the airline company.
There are different ways you can study flight training: either you can train at a flight school or club (full-time/part-time basis); train at a flight school associated with a university; or study at an accredited college/ university offering an aviation diploma or degree programme.
Many universities abroad have courses specifically designed for Indian students- the course curriculum meets Indian standards and regulation requirements. For example some flight schools offer students from India to train in the state-of-the-art Piper Seneca which is a requirement of the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India. While choosing a flight school, it’s advisable to consider the accreditation of the college.
The theoretical part of the course familiarizes the students with flight and aviation rules. A typical programme in flight training includes commercial and Jet flight training, Solo training, Dual training, Aircraft Hiring, Simulator training, Fuel charges, Medical Insurance, Pre Flight Briefings, Post Flight De-Briefing, and Pilot support pack. The training programme is coupled with Simulator training for about 20 hours, out of which 8–10 hours will focus on the role of a pilot, 8-10 hours as a co-pilot and a few hours on ground school which covers the following aspects:
- EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System)
- Autopilot flight director system (AFDS)
- Autothrottles (A/T)
- Mode Control Panel (MCP)
- Air Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU)
- Flight Control Computers (FCC)
- Flight Management Computers (FMC)
- Crew Resource Management
On completion of the course, the student has to obtain a valid licence issued by the aviation authorities of the country in which the student is qualified to work as a pilot.
Graduates of a flight training and aviation course get to work in a variety of environments and functions such as commercial pilots, flight instructor, military & armed forces pilot, charter pilot and cargo pilot.
Some of the leading schools abroad which offer accredited flight training and aviation programmes are:
- Delaware Aviation Center
- Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
- ATP Flight School
- Northern Michigan University, USA
- Phoenix East Aviation
- University of Salford
Aviation - Career Options and Course Details
Aviation courses are not only about the technical or managerial knowledge about aircraft and airport operations; hospitality and travel & tourism are other subject areas which are given equal importance in the curriculum in most programmes. Aviation programmes help in developing an individual’s overall personality which includes grooming, weight management, skin and hair care, dressing etc, giving students wider exposure and a chance to expand their skill sets and career prospects.
As a study abroad option, there can’t be a better time to opt for an aviation course, with the urgent need for skilled and qualified aviation personnel both in India and around the world. Hotcourses India has a wealth of information for you to get started on your search for the best aviation study abroad course.
Students aspiring to study aviation in the UK can directly contact the concerned universities or colleges to know about any specific requirements. Proof of English language proficiency is a must for admission to various aviation courses like pilot training, flight mechanics, air traffic management, cabin crew and ticketing in UK; for this, a student needs to take the IELTS or the TOEFL and secure a score which falls within the eligibility net. Australia, too has similar eligibility criteria, with reputed universities, such as Edith Cowan University and RMIT, offering programmes designed to fill specific needs in both Australian and Asian airlines.
The TOEFL is not mandatory though, if you’re planning to train as a pilot in the USA. You do however need to register for Alien Flight Student Programme (AFSP) to ensure that they do not pose any threat to national security or aviation. Other roles, such as Air Traffic Management require scores of the ACT or SAT or Accuplacer test for assessment of English, Mathematics and study skills.
It’s not just the USA, UK or Australia though; as alternative study abroad options, aviation courses offered by Malaysian and Singaporean universities have also become popular among Indian students.Top employers in the Indian aviation market include Sahara India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines Indian Airlines, Trans Asian Aviation and others, who look out for candidates who have been trained through professional aviation courses. Job opportunities beckon in the overseas market as well, with the top recruiters being Lufthansa, Emirates, and Qantas.
Top employers in the Indian aviation market include Sahara India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines Indian Airlines, Trans Asian Aviation and others, who look out for candidates who have been trained through professional aviation courses. Job opportunities beckon in the overseas market as well, with the top recruiters being Lufthansa, Emirates, and Qantas.
In addition to good remuneration, jobs in the aviation sector often include perks such as free travel for employees and their families.
Salaries can vary somewhat within the industry and are higher in foreign companies and agencies. Wages, however, can vary from company to company and even state to state and within the same company based on location or even seniority, which generally means the amount earned after five years or more is often vastly different to what you earn in the first year.The aviation industry offers career opportunities to suit many interests and backgrounds and there is still a growing need for qualified personnel. With Indian and international airports becoming bigger and busier, a career in the aviation promises to be a bright choice.
The aviation industry offers career opportunities to suit many interests and backgrounds and there is still a growing need for qualified personnel. With Indian and international airports becoming bigger and busier, a career in the aviation promises to be a bright choice.