Below, we have broken down the key differences between the two methods so you can better imagine how to pick the right one if you have also decided to pursue a pilot career.
What is ATPL Integrated?
ATPL Integrated is a pilot training program, a part of Ab Initio school (which stands for “from the beginning”), designed to prepare aspiring pilots for commercial flying.
Duration of ATPL Integrated
Those with zero or little aviation experience can complete training in as little as 16 months at BAA Training. The emphasis on “16 months” indicates the intense nature of the study, given the relatively short period for mastering the demanding commercial pilot profession. However, this is achievable through uninterrupted learning.
Unique program highlights
At our academy, it’s possible to combine theory and flight training instead of completing one after another (same as driving schools sometimes offer—you already make your first attempts to drive without fully finishing the theory part). It’s beneficial for optimizing the time needed to complete the program and enhancing your knowledge retention—you don’t feel like your theory knowledge has “evaporated” by the time you begin flight training.
At our academy, we offer the integration of theory and flight training, much like how driving schools operate. This means students can make initial attempts at flying while still studying the theory, all in the same location—Lleida-Alguaire International Airport. This approach optimizes program completion time and ensures that students have the theory “fresh” in their memory once they start flying.
What about the cost?
Financially, this program is more affordable than the CPL Modular, which is discussed below. One reason for this is that ATPL Integrated involves fewer flight hours compared to CPL Modular.
What is CPL Modular?
Similar to ATPL Integrated, CPL Modular is available for individuals with little or no prior aircraft operating experience, aimed at preparing you for the role of an airline’s First Officer.
As the term “Modular” suggests, this program comprises modules, offering flexibility in managing your time and finances. You have the option to take breaks between modules, allowing you to raise funds (such as working as a Flight Instructor if you obtain a Flight Instructor certificate) or handle other responsibilities.
Duration of CPL Modular
However, flexibility and other privileges come with a time cost. On average, this training course at BAA Training lasts approximately 27 months, or longer based on the duration and frequency of breaks taken between modules.
Unique program highlights
If you already hold a valid Private Pilot License (PPL) acquired separately and have experience as a private pilot, you can skip the PPL segment in the CPL Modular syllabus. But starting CPL Modular from scratch means covering 7 PPL exams in addition to the 13 ATPL theory exams (unlike ATPL Integrated, which covers only the latter).
What about the cost?
The financial aspect is easier to manage, as payment can be made in installments instead of the entire sum upfront, as required by ATPL Integrated..
Do both programs lead to becoming a commercial pilot?
While it may seem intuitive to associate ATPL Integrated with the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and CPL Modular with the Commercial Pilot License (CPL), the distinction is slightly different.
Regardless of the chosen path, whether ATPL Integrated or CPL Modular, you receive a CPL license (often referred to as “ATPL Frozen”) and become eligible to work as a commercial airline pilot for your preferred company.
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However, the full ATPL license is attained (“unfrozen”) once you’ve logged at least 1500 flying hours. Upon reaching this milestone, you become eligible to advance to a pilot-in-command position after completing the “Upgrade to Captain.”
Which path shall I choose to become a commercial pilot?
Ultimately, the best choice depends on your personal circumstances, learning preferences, and how you plan to balance training with other aspects of your life. Thoroughly research both options, consider your priorities, and choose the path that aligns best with your goals.
If time duration is critical, ATPL Integrated might be the better choice. However, if paying in installments is preferable, CPL Modular might suit your needs better. Your decision should align with your logic and preferences.
Eligibility requirements and medical requirements are the same for both programs.
In conclusion, carefully weigh the pros and cons of each path. Should you need assistance enrolling in any of these programs for a fulfilling career in commercial aviation, please let us know. If you wish to explore other flight training programs we offer, feel free to reach out as well!