Whether it has always been your dream or you have just discovered how fascinating the world of aviation is, finding answers to your questions is the first step to understanding how to realise your goal of becoming a pilot. For this reason, we have collected some recurring questions that are asked of our instructors.

If you have any other doubts or queries, please contact us: we will be happy to answer your questions.

Where to start?

The possibilities for those who want to become airline pilots are diverse. The answer also depends on your goal: to fly for passion or to build a career in aviation. For the former purpose, one can obtain a private pilot‘s licence, while for the latter the path is longer and leads to obtaining an airline or commercial pilot’s licence. Our Flight School offers courses for everyone, even for those starting from scratch, or for those who want to combine work and study with this passion.

The Private Pilot Licence (PPL) is the first step in an aircraft pilot’s career. It allows you to operate as a Pilot in Command of single-engine aircraft used in non-commercial flights throughout Italy. In order to fly outside national borders, an extension to English phonics is required. It is possible to obtain further ratings, such as VFR/N (Night Visual Flight Rules) for flying at night or MEP (Multi Engine Piston), for flying twin-engine aircraft.

The Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) qualifies you to fly in passenger transport operations, as opposed to the CPL commercial licence, which is one of the steps in the Integrated Course that allows you to achieve the ATPL Frozen Theory, the ultimate goal. In order to operate as a commander, it will be necessary to obtain the IR – Instrument Rating, SEP – Single Engine Piston Aircraft Rating, MEP – Multi Engine Piston Aircraft Rating and, finally, MCC, for piloting multi-pilot aircraft.

At the end of the ATPL course, whether Integrated or Modular, the licence obtained is called ‘Frozen’ because it remains ‘frozen’ until the Type Rating is obtained, i.e., the rating for the aircraft used by the airline where it is usually obtained.

Choosing a Flight School is one of the most challenging and important decisions to make when deciding on a flight course. The advice is to not only consider the price, but to assess the quality of the training. It is useful to read reviews from former students and consider aspects such as the logistics of the school, the instructors and their availability, as well as the fleet, which should always include flight simulators to optimise flight training hours.

The presence of a flight simulator on site is essential for the flight training of course students. In fact, it makes it possible to test various flight conditions, something that is impossible outside simulation also for safety reasons, and completes the training for a gradual transition from twin-engine to the aircraft used by airlines. Our Flight School has two state-of-the-art simulators: an Alsim ALX FNPT II / MCC and a Mechtronix Ascent FNPT II / MCC.


To become a private aircraft pilot, you must be at least 16 years old when you register for the course and 17 to take the examination. Class I or II medical certificate is required. Instead, to enroll on the ATPL course to become an airline pilot, you must be 17 years old and 18 when you pass the theory exam. You must know English, obtaining the TEA Certificate level 4 or higher, and have Class I medical certificate.

The answer depends on the course chosen. For the PPL course, i.e. the one that allows you to obtain your private pilot’s licence, you can enroll at the age of 16, while the minimum age for obtaining it is 17. For the ATPL airline pilot licence, one must be at least 18 years old, but it is also possible to register at 17. As far as the maximum age is concerned, there are theoretically no limits. It will simply be necessary to be psychophysically fit, with the precaution of checking any limits set by the airlines in the case of the ATPL licence.

Knowledge of English is optional for those wishing to obtain a private pilot’s licence. The PPL licence allows you to fly in Italy, while for foreign countries you need an English speaking qualification, i.e. knowledge of the language certified by a specific examination. For the airline pilot licence, on the other hand, it is compulsory to obtain the TEA Certificate with level 4 or higher because English is essential in international communication between airline pilots.

To enrol on the Course with the goal of becoming a Private Pilot of aircraft or for the Airline Pilot route, Class I medical certificate is required. A career as a Pilot in particular requires specific psychophysical requirements, which will therefore be ascertained prior to enrolment in the ATPL Course by a medical examination, to be renewed annually until the age of 60 and then every 6 months. General clinical examinations, an electrocardiogram, audiometry and spirometry tests, as well as blood, urine and eyesight tests will be carried out. Neurological and psychological tests are also included.

Of course. It is a mere ‘urban legend’ that there is necessarily a requirement of impeccable eyesight for those who want to become airline pilots. One can use glasses or contact lenses, as long as certain parameters are met: for myopia, 6 dioptres must not be missing, 5 for long-sightedness and 2 for astigmatism, as the difference in correction between the two eyes. During the specific Class I medical examination, all requirements for becoming an airline pilot will be assessed and reported.

At facilities in the territory authorised by ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority). These are Institutes of Forensic Medicine (IML) and Aircraft Medical Assistance Services (SASN). The medical examination must be booked well in advance of enrolling in the ATPL Course to become an Airline Pilot in order to avoid delays due to possible investigations. Our Secretariat will be happy to provide further guidance on booking.

The Courses

The course to become a private pilot includes 100 hours of theory and 45 hours of flying: hypothetically, it will take about three to four months to obtain the PPL licence. The practical part will follow the needs of the student. The timeframe for obtaining an airline pilot’s licence varies depending on the type of course chosen. The modular course is more spread out over time, while the integrated ATPL course, for those who start from scratch, allows you to reach your goal in a maximum of 3 years: the theory includes a total of 827 hours, the practical 216 hours of flying.

Our Flight School is able to offer various financing options to deal with the path to becoming a pilot with more peace of mind. For the private pilot course, you can choose a Compass loan, while for the airline pilot licence we have entered into a partnership with BNL BNP Paribas Group to enable tailor-made and particularly advantageous loans for our students.

Among the requirements for enrolment in the ATPL Course is the passing of an entry test to check basic knowledge of certain topics that are fundamental for learning to fly and which will be explored in depth during training. Maths and physics tests will be included. Suggested review topics are exponentiations , analytical geometry, trigonometry, first and second degree equations and logic exercises. For physics, knowledge of units of measurement, scalar and vector quantities, concepts of dynamics and kinematics will be tested, along with fundamentals of fluidics, thermodynamics and concepts on electric current. The international language of Pilots is English and, therefore, its knowledge will be assessed: level 4 or higher of the TEA Certificate is required. The cost of the entrance test is €300. Should you fail the test, you will not have to pay the fee again.

Of course. For both the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) and the Airline Pilot’s Licence (ATPL), you can choose the Distance Learning mode for the theoretical part, so that you can manage your timetable independently. In addition, the ATPL Course is also offered in a modular version, which makes it possible to devote time to an alternative course of study or a job, without sacrificing free time. Among the advantages of a modular course is the possibility of deferring payments over a longer period of time, but there is a lack of continuity between theory and practice.

Our Flight School offers several courses to become a private airline pilot. We periodically organise Open Days for the presentation of courses and it is possible to arrange individual meetings with our instructors to obtain all the relevant information.

Work orientation

The first step is to obtain the ATPL Frozen licence, and then pass the Type Rating, which is the qualification for the aircraft used by the airline. Our alumni now work in some of the world’s leading airlines, such as Ryanair, Emirates, easyJet, ITA Airways and Air Dolomiti. It is precisely with the latter airline, part of the Lufthansa Group, that our Flight School can boast a partnership for the training of the next First Officers as of 2019.n fact, we provide our facility, with Instructors, Teachers and aircraft for ATPL courses.

Once you have obtained your ATPL Frozen licence, the next step is crucial: the interview with the airline. It is not only technical skills, acquired during training, that count, but also psycho-aptitude aspects, which include soft skills that are fundamental in the job of an airline pilot. Our Flight School periodically offers a preparation course for the airline selection interview that delves into all the indispensable knowledge required to successfully tackle it.

Aeroclub Varese Flying School

Taking the course to become an airline pilot in a single facility is important for the student. Theoretical lessons and in-flight training take place at our premises in Venegono Inferiore, Varese, Arturo Ferrarin Airport. For greater flexibility in preparing to become a private pilot, it is also possible to choose Milan as the location for theory. The more versatile alternative is the distance learning theory course, both ATPL and PPL.

Our Flight School can boast 16 aircraft ranging from the popular Cessna 172 and Cessna 150, the most commonly used for training purposes, to the Tecnam P2002JF. All aircraft are stored in the Hangar every night and are kept in perfect condition thanks to the in-house, CAMO-certified maintenance facility, which exclusively takes care of our aircraft. Also among our strengths are our two ENAC/EASA-certified flight simulators, Mechtronix Ascent and Alsim ALX. Our fleet is available to members and student pilots.

To register for courses at our Flight School, you must be a member of the Aeroclub Varese. This is an annual membership fee that varies depending on the category of membership of the Association, ranging from €300 to €1,100. Other costs to be incurred concern the medical examination and registration for the entrance test for the ATPL course for those wishing to become Line Pilots. Hourly aircraft costs can be settled during the training period.

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