Ways to become a pilot in the U.K., wider Europe and the United States

Ways to become a pilot

If you want to become a pilot, look no further. L3 Airline Academy is one of the world's leading approved training organizations, we offer a variety of ways to obtain your pilot's license and we're focused on securing you the most important outcome – an exciting flying career.

When researching ways to become a pilot, it may be useful to bear in mind the structure and content of your pilot training course will depend on where you have the right to live and work. If you are based in the United Kingdom or Europe you will undertake an EASA pilot training program and if you are based in the United States you will undertake a FAA pilot training program. You can see a brief outline of what this means below.

The type of training program you choose to undertake will depend on your ultimate career goal. Many of our cadets do not like the idea of being tied to one particular airline and so choose to take an L3 Program, meaning they can select which airline they apply to at the end of training. Other cadets prefer the security of having a conditional job offer at the end of their training and apply for an Airline Program, where training is tailored to one specific airline.  

Some people wish to study part-time at their own pace and choose to take a modular route, while others are interested in other aspects of aviation aside from becoming a pilot and choose to study for a college or university degree alongside their pilot training.

What is FAA?

If you have the right to live and work in the United States your flight training will be regulated by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and you will undertake an FAA pilot training course.

U.S.A. (FAA) pilot training
What is EASA?

If you have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom or Europe your airline employer will be governed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). You will undertake an EASA pilot training course.

Europe (EASA) pilot training
Professional Pilot Program (PPP) – FAA

Our accredited program prepares students whose goal is to work for an airline. From your first flight as a student to potentially working for us as a flight instructor, you'll be gaining experience in the type of environment you'll eventually hope to work in! Our Professional Pilot Program takes students through the following certificates and ratings:

  • Private Pilot Certificate
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot Single-Engine Certificate
  • Commercial Multi-Engine Add-on Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor Certificate
Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) – EASA

Integrated ATPL offers an integrated approach to pilot training, and includes all the required examinations to be issued with an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Successful graduation from this route will provide you with:

  • ATPL Theoretical Knowledge training
  • Commercial Pilots License with Instrument Rating (CPL/IR/MEP)
  • Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) completion certificate
  • Upset Prevention Recovery Training (UPRT)

These items combined are known as a 'frozen' ATPL and are the minimum entry qualifications to commence a Type Rating and line training to become a Co-Pilot on multi-pilot aircraft with an airline.

Airline Programs

Within certain regions we work with airlines around the world to deliver incredible career opportunities to aspiring pilots with very little or no flying experience. Selected and trained to airline-specific standards from day one, you could be flying as a Co-Pilot for a pre-determined airline within around 24 months.

As an L3 cadet, you could be eligible for our unique Training Sponsorship which provides innovative funding and our Performance Protection promise. Many airlines choose to enhance these benefits further by offering a conditional offer of employment before training begins.

Our Airline programs are delivered through either an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) or a Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL), depending on the Airline Partner's specification.


If you are considering training towards your Commercial Pilot's License on a part-time, flexible basis, our Modular training programs will provide you with the highest-quality commercial pilot training to suit your own pace and previous flight experience.

Offering on-campus and distance-learning options, course durations vary from three to 70 weeks.

Higher Education

Wherever you are based in the world, there is an option to study for an industry-related degree alongside your flight training.

Many aspiring pilots choose to integrate a university or college degree in order to keep career options open or to access funding only available to students.

Pilot training news and updates

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