Commercial pilot license

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A license for commercial pilots ( CPL , English commercial pilot license ) is an authorization for pilots to conduct flights as a responsible pilot against payment . According to the rules of the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it allows the worldwide commercial piloting of aircraft of various categories and classes on aircraft of the state of the issuing authority as a pilot in command , English Pilot in Command (PIC) . The operation of aircraft of all registered types is restricted to aircraft types that may only be operated by one pilot. A private pilot license is a prerequisite for acquiring the license .

European Union

Following the introduction of Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 (EU-FCL) on April 8, 2015, the approval, training and licensing of pilots and flight attendants will be regulated by the European Union . The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), based in Cologne , became the implementing authority. The most important part of the regulations for commercial pilots can be found in Appendix 1 of the regulation. With a commercial pilot license according to EU-FCL one is entitled to operate all corresponding aircraft of the registered class of all EASA member states without the need for an additional national approval. The aviation authorities of the EASA member states are still responsible for the administration of the commercial pilot licenses. As a special feature in the EU, the pilot can freely choose the aviation authority in an EASA member state and later switch to another authority at his own request. The following licenses are issued:

  • Commercial pilot license aircraft - CPL (A)
  • Commercial pilot license helicopter - CPL (H)
  • Commercial pilot license airships - CPL (As)

There is no separate professional pilot license for glider pilots and balloonists . The glider pilot license and balloon pilot license can be used for commercial use with flying experience and a further exam. The commercial pilot license includes the rights of the private pilot license and the light aircraft pilot license


The commercial pilot licenses are issued in Germany by the Federal Aviation Office in Braunschweig according to the rules of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As a special feature in Germany, the instrument flight rules stipulate that an aircraft must be flown by two pilots under certain conditions. As of 2019, around 6,000 commercial pilot licenses are being administered by the Federal Aviation Office.


Austro Control, a federal enterprise of the Republic of Austria organized as a GmbH , took over the task of aviation agency in 1993 and is responsible for issuing professional pilot licenses and supervising civil aviation schools.


In order to obtain the professional pilot's license, the student pilot must undergo theoretical and practical training at a flight school . The flight school must be an approved training organization ( English Approved Training Organization ) ATO, which has gone through an extensive approval process, for example a commercial aviation school . In the theoretical part of the training, the following subjects are dealt with and relevant knowledge is tested in a final examination:

In the practical test, the trainee pilot must prove that he has mastered the necessary procedures and maneuvers in the selected aircraft category.

Further training to become a commercial pilot

For aircraft in which at least two pilots are required (MPA, Multi Pilot Airplane), one for the pilot- transport pilot license English Air Transportation Pilot License (ATPL) prescribed. The co-pilot needs a CPL as well as an instrument flight license English Instrument Rating (IR) and must successfully pass the ATPL theory test and attend a multi-crew concept course (training on cooperation in the cockpit, sometimes also referred to as human factors or crew resource management) to have. After completing the legally prescribed flight hours as a co-pilot and successfully completing a test flight, this form of CPL (so-called frozen ATPL) can be converted into a regular commercial pilot license and the pilot can thus be used as e.g. B. act as a flight captain .

The CPL can be extended by several ratings, for example by an instrument flight rating or a multi-engine rating (MEP - multi engine piston) for piston engines.


  • Klaus-Jürgen Schwahn: Profession pilot: Requirements - training - everyday life . 1st edition. Motorbuchverlag, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-613-04021-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Appendices to the Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Appendix 1: Personnel Licensing.
  2. a b c d VO (EU) 1178/2011
  3. Section 32 (2) and Section 41 (5) LuftBO
  4. Licensed pilots managed by the LBA by type of license. In: Federal Aviation Office. March 1, 2019, accessed October 13, 2019 .