May 21, 2024

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How To Get an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate in 2023

Airline Transport Pilot Certificate

The airline transport pilot certificate is the highest level of pilot certification in the United States. Many of the most in-demand professional aviation jobs require the ATP certificate. One of the practical requirements is the passing of an academic exam.

Though the paths to obtaining an ATP certificate differ, the end result is something that any pilot can be proud of. Let’s go over how to get your ATP certification step by step.

What Is the Definition of an Airline Transport Pil₹ot License?

The ATP is the world’s most prestigious certification (or licence, in some countries). There is also a Restricted ATP in the United States (sometimes abbreviated R-ATP). Certain pilots may continue to fly even if their ATP requirements are not met. To obtain a limited version that is only valid in specific US operations.

What Can You Do With an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate?

An ATP is required to fly for a Part 121 airline, to serve as pilot in command (PIC) in some Part 135 operations, or to fly an aircraft with more than 30 passenger seats.
Due to insurance requirements, many more professional pilots may be required to hold an ATP. An ATP holder receives all of the benefits of a commercial certificate and is presumed to have a rating for an instrument.

With an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, what types of aircraft can you fly?

An ATP allows the holder to fly all aircraft in the category and class, with the exception of tailwheel-equipped aircraft, which require an aircraft-specific type rating, special federal air regulation (SFAR) training, or optional endorsements.

Because type ratings must be flown in accordance with ATP standards, pilots frequently apply for their ATP certificate practical exam at the same time as they apply for a type rating.

The Advantages of an Airline Transport Pilot License

A pilot with an ATP certificate is very marketable because it shows that he or she has invested significant time and energy in flight training as well as meeting the practical exam standards.
For applicants of an aeroplane multiengine land class ATP, the FAA mandated the addition of the Certification Training Program (commonly known as the ATP-CTP) in 2014. For pilots who complete their ATP training without the help of a company. The extra course can be quite costly.

Requirements for an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate

Unless they are a former military or collegiate pilot who meets the Restricted ATP exemption requirements. Applicants for unrestricted ATP certificates must meet the following requirements:

  • To apply, you must be at least 23 years old.
  • In your category and class, you must be an instrument-rated commercial pilot.
  • FAR 61.159 specifies the flight time requirements.
  • Complete both the written and practical exams successfully.

Learn in 5 Easy Steps How to Get an Airline Transport Pilot License.

For a pilot looking to complete the ATP on their own, the steps are relatively simple. You should be familiar with knowledge tests, practical exams, and what to expect on check ride day by this point in your professional pilot career.


Step 1: Completing the Required Minimum Hours

A minimum of 1,500 hours total time, 500 hours cross-country flight time, 250 hours of flight time as pilot in command (PIC), 100 hours of night time, 75 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, and 50 hours of time in the aircraft class you are applying for the ATP in is required for pilots applying for an unrestricted ATP.

The requirements for pilots seeking a Restricted ATP (R-ATP) are specified in FAR 61.160 based on the type of applicant (former military, collegiate aviation graduate, etc). It should be noted that the R-ATP is only valid for the aeroplane multiengine land class and does not meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s requirements (ICAO).

Step 2: If necessary, complete the CTP Course.

Only applicants for an ATP or R-ATP in the aeroplane multiengine land class are required to complete a Certification Training Program (CTP). The one-week standalone CTP course covers topics such as aerodynamics, meteorology, air carrier operations, and crew resource management (CRM).

A flight simulator is also necessary (FTD). There is also a full motion simulator that simulates a 40,000-pound aircraft. The FAA has compiled a PDF list of authorized CTP providers.

Step 3: Pass the FAA Written Examination.

Depending on the category and class, the FAA written exam for ATP certificates ranges from 90 to 125 questions.

It is an overall knowledge test that requires a 70% to pass and will generate a report detailing items missed for review on your practical test at the end of the exam.

Step 4: Completing the Mandatory Flight Training

After completing the required minimum flight times and, if applicable, your CTP course, you can apply for the practical exam.

The ATP is a self-contained checkride that does not need instructor approval. As part of an airline training program or concurrently with an aircraft type rating examination, a diverse training regimen may be required.

Step 5: Finish the Practical Exam

The airline transport pilot certificate is the highest level of certification available, regardless of category or class. The standards for both the oral exam and the flight portion of the check ride are extremely high. Standard and emergency operations are covered, as well as maneuvering, navigation, and instrument procedures.

After a successful practical, the temporary certificate will be issued. Keep in mind that your new certificate will read “Airline Transport Pilot.”  And you will no longer have an instrument rating. In this section, you will complete the check ride, which is already covered by an ATP certificate.

The first step toward a career in the airline industry is obtaining a certificate as an airline transport pilot.

Obtaining an airline transport pilot certificate is a significant achievement for any pilot and is frequently the beginning of a professional career. FLYING Magazine has resources for pilots of all skill levels. They have the option of becoming a private pilot, an airline transport pilot, or something entirely different. To stay current on all things aviation,