The EASA pilot training journey in the U.K. and Europe.

EASA pilot training journey

The journey to becoming an EASA certified Airline Pilot is both an exciting and challenging one. It takes an average of 18 months to 2 years to complete your pilot training and be placed in a role of Junior Co-Pilot with an airline.

Although our courses differ slightly depending on the program, all our cadets are required to progress through the following stages of training before successfully graduating with their Integrated Airline Transport License (Integrated ATPL) or Multi-Crew Pilots License (MPL).

Stage 1: Research

With so many options for pilot training in the U.K. and Europe, it can feel difficult to know where to start researching. Many of our trainee pilots say the blog posts from current and alumni cadets helped them get a feel for L3 Airline Academy, as well as attending our events where you have the opportunity to speak with our careers advice team and professional pilots.

As part of L3 Commercial Aviation, our Airline Academies stand out as we are able to train using the very latest aviation technologies from across the business. We also have a reputation in the industry for having friendly, approachable staff who provide outstanding training.

Upcoming events
Stage 2: Application

We advise all prospective pilots to take their time, read the Application & Selection documents carefully and check that they meet the entry criteria before submitting their application. Your application will be screened by our selection team and, if successful, we will invite you to attend a selection day.

Pilot training courses
Stage 3: Selection

We won’t sugar coat it, our selection days are challenging but as long as you are prepared for the day there is no need to be nervous. We will only accept applicants onto our pilot training programs who have the potential to eventually take command a passenger aircraft and we will assess you on both the technical and non-technical skills required to become an airline pilot.

Requirements, application & selection


Stage 4: Ground school

Once through selection you will embark on the initial phase of flight training known as ground school. You will meet your fellow course mates, settle into your accommodation at one of our approved training locations and complete your classroom and computer-based theoretical knowledge training.

Stage 5: Foundation flight training

Often the most exciting stage of the course, you will take to the skies, learning to fly single engine piston aircraft at one of our global training centers. The exact aircraft, location and duration of this phase will depend on your program.

Stage 6: Commercial and instrument flight training

The content of this training will depend on the course you have chosen, but will involve single and multi-engine aircraft and assessments in our Full Flight Simulators.

Stage 7: Intermediate training

If you are on an MPL route, this will involve aircraft type-specific training on the plane you will be flying with that particular airline. On our Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) route you will take our world-renowned Airline Qualification Course (AQC).

Airline Phases

Stage 8: (ATPL students only) Airline Placement

Eligible students will be placed in our graduate placement pool where our team will work to secure you employment as a Co-Pilot with a global airline.

Stage 9: Advanced training

You will undertake aircraft type-specific training to prepare you to fly for your airline. You will also complete Line Orientated Experience (LOE) and line check with your airline employer as well as safety, emergency and procedures training.

Stage 10: Junior Co-Pilot

Congratulations! You are now employed as a Junior Co-Pilot, sitting in the right hand seat of the flight deck flying passengers on commercial aircraft. L3 can provide all the further training you need to progress your career up to the rank of Captain as well as other airline training courses.

Pilot training courses