Guide to Becoming an Airline Pilot Using The Modular Route
  1. Take a trial flying lesson at a local flying club to see if you like flying and are suited to it.
  2. Obtain a Class 1 Medical Certificate for the CAA to make sure you are medically fit to be a pilot before committing your time and money info training:

    It is also advisable to take an aptitude test for potential pilots before committing yourself to training. This can be done by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots:

  3. Gain a Private Pilots Licence (PPL) from a local flying school. This consists of minimum of 50 flying hours and is usually completed within three months. A list of approved training organisations in the UK can be found in the following CAA link:
  4. Undertake an Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) theoretical knowledge ground school course and sit 14 ATPL exams. This takes around six months to complete and is divided into three modules. We strongly recommend a full-time residential course due to the fact that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are changing the exam format and questions. This will require a thorough understanding of the subjects which only a full-time course can provide. Pathway Pilot Training can help with this important phase of your training:
  5. Build a Further 100 flying hours which must be Pilot-in Command hours. This can be done anywhere as long as the hours are entered in your logbook. This should take a minimum time of around 8 weeks.
  6. Instrument Rating (IR) Course. This is a total of 50 hours split between flying in the aircraft and the simulator. This usually takes around 8 weeks.
  7. Multi-Engine (ME) rating course - 6 hours in 2 weeks on a twin-engine aircraft.
  8. Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) course - 15 hours in 6 weeks. The link for items 6,7 and 8:
  9. Multi-Crew Coordination (MCC) course. This usually takes 2 weeks and is done in a modern simulator such as a Boeing 737 Full-Flight Simulator (FFS).


You will now have a EASA CPL/IR/ME and have passed the ATPL ground school. This means that you have a 'frozen' ATPL which entitles you to apply to airlines for employment. Your ATPL will become 'unfrozen' after a further 1500 flying hours which is usually gained while being employed as a pilot.


The Advantages of the Modular Route over the Integrated route are:

  • Less Cost
  • Can be done in stages as 'Pay-as-you-go' with no large payments upfront
  • More Flying and hour as Pilot-in-command
  • The Modular route is widely recognised and sometimes even preferred by several airlines including BA CityFlyer and Ryanair