Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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Commercial Pilot Licence- Aeroplane (CPL-A)

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In order to be issued with a Commercial Pilot Licence in South Africa, the following minimum requirements need to be met:


  • An applicant for a CPL must be at least 18 years old
  • The applicant must hold a valid class I medical certificate
  • The applicant must have a valid General Radio Licence
  • The applicant must produce evidence that he/she has/has had within the previous 60 months one of the following: a valid South African PPL; or, a valid pilot licence issued by a contracting state; or, a valid South African Air Force pilot qualification on aircraft; or, a valid Student Pilot Licence in the case of an applicant having done an approved integrated training course
  • The applicant must have successfully completed all the relevant training at a CAA approved flight training institution
  • Have passed all the theoretical knowledge examinations. The examinations are as follows: 1) Aviation Meteorology, 2) Flight Planning and Performance, 3) Radio Aids and Communication, 4) General Navigation, 5) Instruments and Electronics, 6) Aircraft Technical and General, 7) Human Performance and Limitations, 8) Air Law and Procedures
  • The applicant must hold a valid night rating
  • The applicant must have completed not less than: 200 hours of flight time which may include 20 hours of instructional time in an approved simulation device
  • 150 hours if he/she has completed the integrated training program
  • The total flight time must include 100 hours as pilot in command (or 70 hours in the case of an integrated program)
  • Not less than 20 hours cross country flight time as pilot in command
  • 5 hours of night flying as pilot in command
  • 20 hours of instrument instruction time
  • At least 5 hours instruction on a complex aircraft (adjustable flaps, retractable undercarriage and a variable pitch propeller or turbine engine
  • A qualified South African Air Force pilot may apply for exemption to any or all of the above requirements
  • The applicant must undergo the skills test for the issue of a CPL not more than 36 months after having passed all the theoretical examinations


  • The holder of a valid CPL may act as pilot in command or co-pilot on any aircraft for which he/she holds the relevant valid rating
  • A CPL pilot may exercise all the privileges of a PPL pilot
  • Act as pilot in command of any aircraft involved in operations that do not involve the carriage of passengers or freight for hire or reward
  • A CPL pilot may act as pilot in command of any aircraft engaged in commercial transport operations that has been certified for single pilot operation
  • A CPL pilot may act as co-pilot on any aircraft required to be operated with a co-pilot on commercial transport operations
  • A CPL holder may act as a safety pilot
  • A CPL holder may exercise all of the above privileges by night as well
  • A CPL is valid for a period of 10 years, provided that the annual fees are paid
  • The holder of a CPL has to undergo a revalidation check 12 months after the date of initial issue and thereafter every 24 months

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