A Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is a flight crew licence that authorises pilots to fly light, single-engine aircraft as the pilot in command, independently of a flight training organisation, without supervision. The RPL replaces the student pilot licence and general flying progress test (GFPT)

You must be a minimum of 17 years of age and meet the medical requirements.

You are limited to flying within 25 nautical miles of your departure aerodrome, your flight training area and the route between your departure aerodrome and the flight training area unless you have conducted the training for and been given a navigation endorsement.

You need to have a flight radio endorsement if you are going to use the aircraft radio during the flight.

If you want to fly in controlled airspace, you must also hold a controlled airspace endorsement.

(NB: This licence is offered at Commercial only as part of a more advanced licence, however, is not offered as a standalone qualification.)

A Private Pilot Licence (PPL) is a licence that allows a holder to pilot an aircraft as pilot-in-command or co-pilot when the aircraft is being operated in a private operation or the holder is receiving flying training.

You will be required to pass a single theory exam and conduct a minimum of 50 hours flight training and pass a flight test.

As part of your training you will receive a flight radio endorsement and approval to fly in controlled airspace.

With a PPL licence you cannot work as a commercial pilot and get paid to carry passengers or cargo during commercial operations but your licence is valid nationwide.


A Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) authorises you to conduct private and commercial operations. The CPL allows you to obtain a job and be paid as a pilot to conduct commercial tasks carrying passengers and/or cargo anywhere in the country.

You need to be a Minimum of 18 years of age and pass the more stringent commercial medical standards.

You need to pass seven theory exams: Aircraft General Knowledge, Meteorology, Flight Rules and Air Law, Aerodynamics, Human Factors, Navigation and Operations Performance and Planning.

There standard CPL licence requires a minimum of 150 hours of flight training. This may be reduced to 105 hours provided the last 30 hours of training is conducted within a compressed 90-day period.

You can receive a low-level rating as part of your training which allows you to fly a helicopter lower than 500 feet above ground level.


An Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) authorises you to conduct private and commercial operations. In addition to private and commercial pilot licence privileges, you can be the pilot-in-command or the co-pilot of a multi crew aircraft of any operation. You must hold the appropriate aircraft category rating on your ATPL and the class or type rating for the aircraft you want to fly.

ATPL is the highest professional qualification for pilots of rotary and fixed wing aircraft. Employers determine the minimum number of flight hours and endorsements required to gain employment with them depending on the nature of operations. Ordinarily the more complex the operation the more hours required. It is usually completed after you have been working as a pilot for some time and have gained sufficient experience.

Commercial Helicopters does not conduct ATPL training, but we can point you in the right direction for a training provider.