Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

This page provides you with a detailed breakdown of the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Course. For general information about learning to fly with Atlas Aviation visit our Learn To Fly section.

For the next full time AVI50215 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence Aeroplane) course commencement dates click here.

A Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is essential if you wish to obtain work as a pilot in commercial operations.

Career opportunities for a Commercial Pilot Licence holder can include:
  • Charter
  • Flight Instruction
  • Agricultural Operations
  • Airline
  • Search & Rescue
  • Fire Spotting / Bombing
  • Aerial Surveillance
  • Air Ambulance
  • Joy Flights
The Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) has four main components:
  • Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Course
  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Course
  • CPL Flight Training and Experience
  • CPL Theory Examinations
Flight Training and Experience Requirements

Aeronautical experience requirements for the issue of an Commercial Pilot Licence for a student undertaking an integrated course are detailed in Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 61. The requirements are as follows:

200 hours total flight time, which includes:
  • 100 hours total as pilot-in-command (PIC)
  • 40 hours cross-country PIC
  • 10 hours instrument flight (5 hours may be in a simulator)

The Private Pilot Licence component of this course will contribute approximately 58 hours total time, 10 hours PIC, 5 hours cross-country PIC and 3 hours instrument time towards your CPL requirements.

In addition to flying training for the Private Pilot Licence additional training is undertaken to ensure operations meet or exceed the commercial standard specified in Part 61 Manual of Standards (MoS). This syllabus incorporates the Australian National Competency Standards for Commercial Pilots.

Commercial flying training will have you demonstrate:
  • High standards of knowledge and the practical application of that knowledge
  • Accurate and expeditious flight planning
  • Safe and accurate operation of the aircraft
  • Operational decision making
  • Sound navigation techniques – visual and navaid based, diversions
  • Operation in both complex airspace and to/from remote aerodromes

The skills and experience gained during your training and command building time will put you in a good position to provide your services to an employer as a professional pilot.

In order to gain the required 70 hours of PIC time you will be given planned navigation exercises. Many students will offer acquaintances flights on a cost-sharing basis, meaning you can legally split the costs equally between you and passengers – saving you up to 75% on your flying hours in a 4 seater.

In addition to the in-flight experience requirements you must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age to be issued a CPL
  • Pass a Class 1 medical examination – refer to the CASA web site
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Exam Structure
The examinations comprise seven separate examinations for airoplanes:
  • CPL Navigation (CNAV)
  • CPL Meteorology (CMET)
  • CPL Human Factors (CHUF)
  • CPL Flight Rules & Air Law (CLWA)
  • CPL Aerodynamics (CADA)
  • CPL Aircraft General Knowledge (CSYA)
  • CPL Operation, Performance & Flight Planning (CFPA)

These examinations are based on Part 61 Manual of Standards (MoS) provided by CASA.

The pass mark for each CPL examination is 70%, except for Flight Rules & Air Law 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 CPL theory pass.

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

Atlas Aviation does not typically run scheduled CPL theory classes. We offer CPL theory classes in our full time AVI50215 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence Airoplane) course. Most students prefer to self-study at home at their own pace, or in our facilities able to liaise available instructors as required. A number of organisations provide regular scheduled part/full time theory courses for the commercial pilot licence and we can provide recommendations when required.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Course Estimate

Below is an estimate based on list pricing current at 1st May 2018.

Courses typically run on a one-to-one basis and are designed to fit in to both your schedule and budget constraints.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) ———->> Price: $14,800
  • 27.3 Hours Dual (T6)
  • 5.2 Hours Solo (T6)
  • Theory (15.5 hours)
  • Landing Fees (33)
  • Movement Fees (33)
  • Exam Fees (First Solo, Area Solo, BAK & Flight Radio Exam)
  • Security Checks & ASIC Card
  • Pilot Bag
  • Theory Manuals, Aircraft QRH, Student Notebook
  • USB with useful documents
  • SYD Visual Terminal Chart
  • David Clark H10-13.4 Pilot Headset
Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Flight Test ———–>> Price: $930
  • 1.5 Hours Dual (T6)
  • Flight Examiner Fee
  • Landing and Movement Fees
  • CASA Licence Fee
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) ————>> Price: $8,498
  • 15.3 Hours Dual (T6)
  • 5.3 Hours Solo (T6)
  • Theory (5 Hours)
  • Landing Fees (17)
  • Movement Fees (8)
  • Theory Manuals, Student Notebook
  • Maps, ERSA, Nav Equipment, Kneeboard, etc
  • Exam Fee (PPL Practice Cyberexam)
  • PPL Pexo Exam
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Flight Test ———–>> Price: $1,570
  • 3.5 Hours Dual (T6)
  • Flight Examiner Fee
  • Landing and Movement Fees
  • CASA License Fee
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Resources ———>> Price: $1,177
  • Theory Manuals
  • Maps
  • Theory (6 hours)
  • Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)
  • Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR)
  • Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR)
  • Civil Aviation Orders (CAO)
  • Civil Aviation Advisory Publications (CAAP) (92-1(1) & 234-1(1)
  • Practice CPL Exams (7)
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) ———–>> Price: $37,600
  • 34.5 Hours Command (T6)
  • 16 Hours Dual (CT4E)
  • 20 Hours Command (CT4E)
  • 2 Hours Dual (E300L)
  • 14.5 Hours Dual (PA34 / PA39)
  • 5.5 Hours Command (PA34 / PA39)
  • Landing Fees (64)
  • Movement Fees (46)
Multi-Engine Class (MEA) Flight Test ————->> Price: $1,190
  • 1.5 Hours Hire (PA34 / PA39)
  • Flight Examiner Fee
  • Landing and Movement Fees
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Flight Test ———–>> Price: $2,545
  • 3.5 Hours Hire (PA34 / PA39)
  • Flight Examiner Fee
  • Landing and Movement Fees
  • CASA Licence Fee
Estimated Total: ————–>> Price: $68,310
  • Price is exclusive of GST for applicable components.
  • Payment can be made as you go, pre-paid in full or via installments.
  • Theory examinations administered externally are not included in this estimate.
  • Medical examination fees paid directly to designated aviation medical examiner (DAME) not included.


To maximise your employment opportunities as a newly qualified commercial pilot the following courses are recommended:
  • Multi-Engine Class Rating
  • Command Instrument Rating
  • Flight Instructor Rating