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Europe International Information

A foreign pilot wishing to fly European registered aircraft for remuneration or reward in Europe must be in possession of a valid  Pilot License.

Joint Aviation Authorities


Flight Training in Spain

So you've considered learning to fly in the UK and even America. Now it's time to consider why you should look at doing your flight training in Spain.


OK! You want a commercial pilot's licence or a frozen ATPL as they call it and you fancy sitting up front in the cockpit of a Boeing737 or even an Airbus 320. What exactly do you have to do to get the necessary qualifications and more importantly the job?

I won't kid you. Starting a career in aviation can be an arduous journey and an expensive one at that. Forget the cosy pictures of the deliriously happy British Airways Pilot, coming home to his lovely cottage in the country, open fire burning and his sweet wife ready to serve his every need. Unfortunately that's the publicity and it doesn't work that way in real life.

Reality check! More likely to be a career of loans to fund the flying training, sponsorship if you are incredibly lucky and living hand to mouth for the best part of 12-16 months and then with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. More likely you are going to have to go and become a flying instructor, get scared silly by crazy students, just to build your hours up to make yourself attractive enough to be hired by the airlines.

However, there is a small respite. That is, that there is currently a shortage of pilots around the globe. But don't kid yourself that the airlines are going to be falling over themselves to hire yours truly!

Anyway, what type of flight training should you consider when spending all that hard earned (or borrowed) mullah and where should you do the training?

Easy isn't it? Um sorry, no it's not!

You could train in the UK. Well, you could if the weather holds out long enough. But unless you are considering getting webbed feet from all the rain and water, I suggest you look further afield. Costs for flying training can also be prohibitive in the UK, with everything being incredibly expensive.


So why bother with training in the UK? Er...well actually, you live there!! OK. Fair enough!

Look! These are just a few of the reasons why so many students are now making a point of training abroad - America, South Africa, Malaysia, Europe ...,it just makes more sense for the time they can spend flying and for reasons of lower cost.

So why do your flying training in Spain? Easy! America is great, it's cheap and its fast and the weather is good, but the end result is usually an American FAA licence. If you want to fly airlines in Europe, then you are better off with the JAR ATPL recognised licence, which you can use all around Europe and is also recognised worldwide. Secondly it's the distance. Spain is only 1.5 hours away... how many hours is America away and finally who wants all the hassles of security, visas, paperwork that was caused by 911...not me!

So, to summarise, make it easy on yourself and do your flight training in Spain. Find a reputable school, that is professional, speaks English and will accommodate your needs. Spain is closer than the USA, it's cheaper than the UK, the people are extremely friendly and the weather is great. The most important thing for you will be that you will finish with the all important JAR licence, with no need for messy conversions from American to European standards and you will have spent a lot less time away from your loved ones.

Written by Mike Piranty of Aerolink, based at Sabadell Airport, near Barcelona. He can be reached on 0034 647 044 889 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Company website is (English version) 

Feb 4, 2008

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