Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL)

Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL)

An Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) is the highest achievable licence that can be held by a civilian pilot.
An ATPL is required to be the pilot-in-command of a multi-crew aircraft, be it a five seat Cessna Citation I or the worlds largest passenger aircraft – the Airbus A380.

The ATPL has two components:
  • Theory examinations
  • Aeronautical experience



A pass of all theory examinations provides you with what is termed a “Frozen ATPL” – this being a requirement for application and entry to all major airlines.

Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) Exam Structure
The examinations comprise seven separate examinations for aeroplanes:
  • ATPL Flight Planning (AFPA)
  • ATPL Performance & Loading (APLA)
  • ATPL Aerodynamics & Aircraft Systems (AASA)
  • ATPL Navigation (ANAV)
  • ATPL Meteorology (AMET)
  • ATPL Human Factors (AHUF)
  • ATPL Air Law (AALW)

These examinations are based on the Aeronautical Knowledge Syllabus provided by CASA.

The pass mark for each ATPL examination is 70%, except for the Air Law exam where the pass mark is 80%.

All examinations must be passed within a 2-year period, from the date of the first attempt, successful or otherwise, for a candidate to be awarded an ATPL theory pass. (Frozen ATPL)

Examinations are booked through and delivered by Assessment Services Pty Ltd.

Aeronautical Experience Requirements

Aeronautical experience requirements for the issue of an Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) are detailed in Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) 5.172. The requirements are summarised as follows:

1500 hours total flight time, which includes:
750 hours in an airoplane, which includes:
250 hours PIC and ICUS, which includes:
  • 70 hours PIC
  • 200 hours cross country, which includes:
  • 100 hours PIC or ICUS
  • 75 hours instrument, which includes:
  • 45 hours in flight
  • 100 hours night PIC or co-pilot
The other 750 hours may include:
  • 25 hours synthetic trainer time
  • 75 hours flight simulator time
  • Up to 200 hours Flight Navigator and/or Flight Engineer time
In addition to the flight hour experience requirements you must:
  • Hold a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
  • Hold or have held a Command Instrument Rating (Multi-engine)
  • Be at least 21 years of age.
Atlas Aviation

At this time Atlas Aviation does not deliver scheduled theory courses relating to the ATPL examinations.

On your path to obtaining an ATPL we are able to assist you with obtaining your:
  • Commercial Pilot Licence
  • Night VFR Rating
  • Command Instrument Rating (Multi-engine)

In order to build flying experience to meet airline entry requirements or for the ATPL, we recommend obtaining a Flight Instructor Rating to maximize your employment opportunities.