What is a Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL)?

The Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) is an innovative and comprehensive training program designed to equip aspiring pilots with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate as co-pilots in a multi-crew environment. This specialized license was introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to address the growing demand for highly skilled and well-trained pilots in the commercial aviation industry.

The Multi-Crew Pilot License program focuses on developing competencies specific to multi-crew operations, emphasizing teamwork, communication, decision-making, and resource management. Unlike traditional pilot training, which follows a sequential approach, the Multi-Crew Pilot License adopts an ab initio (from the beginning) methodology, integrating theoretical knowledge and practical training from the outset.

By obtaining an Multi-Crew Pilot License, pilots gain a competitive edge in the job market, as they are trained to work seamlessly within a multi-crew cockpit environment, a crucial requirement for most modern commercial airlines.

Benefits of obtaining a Multi-Crew Pilot License

Obtaining a Multi-Crew Pilot License offers several advantages to aspiring pilots, including:

  1. Enhanced employability: Airlines increasingly prefer pilots with Multi-Crew Pilot License training, as they are better prepared for multi-crew operations, reducing the need for additional training and associated costs.
  2. Streamlined training process: The Multi-Crew Pilot License program combines theoretical and practical training from the outset, resulting in a more efficient and focused learning experience.
  3. Emphasis on crew resource management: The curriculum places significant emphasis on crew resource management (CRM), equipping pilots with the essential skills for effective communication, decision-making, and teamwork in a multi-crew environment.
  4. Reduced training costs: By integrating various aspects of pilot training, the Multi-Crew Pilot License program can potentially be more cost-effective compared to traditional pilot training routes.
  5. Increased career opportunities: Pilots with an Multi-Crew Pilot License are qualified to work as co-pilots for commercial airlines, opening up a wide range of career prospects in the aviation industry.

The evolution of the MPL in the aviation industry

The concept of the Multi-Crew Pilot License was introduced by ICAO in the early 2000s as a response to the changing needs of the aviation industry. As aircraft became more technologically advanced and flight operations became increasingly complex, the need for specialized training in multi-crew operations became apparent.

Initially, the Multi-Crew Pilot License faced skepticism and resistance from some traditional aviation training organizations and regulatory bodies. However, as the benefits of the program became more evident, and airlines recognized the value of pilots trained specifically for multi-crew operations, the MPL gained wider acceptance and adoption.

Today, the MPL is recognized and accepted by numerous aviation authorities and airlines around the world, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India.

Eligibility criteria for an MPL in India

To enroll in an MPL program in India, aspiring pilots must meet the following eligibility criteria set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA):

  1. Age: Candidates must be at least 17 years old to begin the MPL training program.
  2. Educational qualifications: A minimum of 10+2 (or equivalent) with Physics, Mathematics, and English as compulsory subjects is required.
  3. Medical fitness: Applicants must hold a valid Class 1 Medical Certificate issued by the DGCA or an approved medical examiner.
  4. English language proficiency: A minimum level of English language proficiency, as specified by the DGCA, is mandatory.
  5. Admission requirements: Candidates may be required to clear an entrance examination or meet other admission criteria set by the approved aviation training organization.

It is essential to note that the specific eligibility criteria may vary slightly depending on the aviation training organization and the regulatory requirements in effect at the time of application.

The process of obtaining a Multi-Crew Pilot License in India

Obtaining a Multi-Crew Pilot License in India involves a comprehensive training process that includes both theoretical and practical components. Here is a general outline of the steps involved:

  1. Enrolment in an approved MPL program: Aspiring pilots must enroll in an MPL program offered by a DGCA-approved aviation training organization.
  2. Theoretical knowledge training: This phase covers a wide range of subjects, including aviation law, aircraft general knowledge, flight performance and planning, human performance and limitations, meteorology, navigation, and operational procedures.
  3. Simulator training: Candidates undergo extensive simulator training, where they learn to operate various aircraft types in a simulated multi-crew environment. This training focuses on developing skills such as crew coordination, decision-making, and resource management.
  4. Flight training: The practical flight training component involves both dual and solo flights, during which students apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the theoretical and simulator phases.
  5. Skill tests and examinations: Throughout the program, candidates must pass various skill tests, progress checks, and examinations to demonstrate their proficiency and competence.
  6. Issuance of the MPL license: Upon successful completion of all training requirements and passing the final skill test, candidates are awarded the Multi-Crew Pilot License by the DGCA.

It is important to note that the duration and specific requirements of the MPL program may vary across different aviation training organizations and are subject to periodic updates by the DGCA.

Training requirements and curriculum for the MPL

The MPL training program is designed to provide comprehensive and integrated training to aspiring pilots, covering both theoretical and practical aspects of multi-crew operations. The curriculum is structured to ensure that candidates develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for safe and efficient multi-crew operations.

The training requirements and curriculum for the MPL typically include the following components:

  1. Theoretical knowledge training:
    • Aviation law and regulations
    • Aircraft general knowledge
    • Flight performance and planning
    • Human performance and limitations
    • Meteorology
    • Navigation
    • Operational procedures
    • Principles of flight
    • Radiotelephony
  2. Simulator training:
    • Multi-crew cooperation and coordination
    • Crew resource management (CRM)
    • Threat and error management
    • Normal and abnormal procedures
    • Emergency procedures
    • Line-oriented flight training (LOFT)
  3. Flight training:
    • Pre-flight operations
    • Dual and solo flight instruction
    • Cross-country flights
    • Night flying
    • Instrument flight rules (IFR) operations
  4. Skill tests and examinations:
    • Progress checks
    • Theoretical knowledge examinations
    • Skill tests (e.g., instrument rating, multi-engine rating)
    • Final MPL skill test

The training program is designed to be competency-based, ensuring that candidates achieve the required level of proficiency in various areas before progressing to the next stage. The curriculum is regularly updated to align with the latest industry standards and regulatory requirements.

Costs associated with obtaining an MPL in India

Obtaining a Multi-Crew Pilot License in India can be a significant financial investment. The costs associated with the MPL program can vary depending on several factors, including the aviation training organization, the duration of the program, and the specific training resources utilized.

Here is an approximate breakdown of the costs involved in obtaining an MPL in India:

  1. Tuition fees: The tuition fees for the MPL program can range from approximately ₹30 lakhs to ₹50 lakhs or more, depending on the aviation training organization and the program duration.
  2. Accommodation and living expenses: If the training is conducted away from the candidate’s home location, accommodation and living expenses will need to be factored in. These costs can vary significantly based on the location and duration of the program.
  3. Medical examinations: Candidates are required to undergo regular medical examinations to obtain and maintain their Class 1 Medical Certificate. The costs for these examinations can range from ₹10,000 to ₹20,000 or more.
  4. Study materials and equipment: Additional expenses may include the cost of study materials, such as textbooks, flight manuals, and other learning resources, as well as personal equipment like headsets and flight bags.
  5. Travel and transportation: Depending on the location of the training facility, candidates may need to factor in travel and transportation costs for commuting or relocating.
  6. Miscellaneous expenses: Other miscellaneous expenses may include administrative fees, application fees, and any additional charges imposed by the aviation training organization or regulatory authorities.

It is essential to thoroughly research and compare the costs of different MPL programs offered by various aviation training organizations in India. Additionally, candidates may explore financing options, such as education loans or scholarships, to help manage the financial burden associated with obtaining an MPL.

Career opportunities with a Multi-Crew Pilot License

Obtaining a Multi-Crew Pilot License opens up a wide range of career opportunities in the aviation industry, both in India and internationally. With the increasing demand for skilled and well-trained pilots, holders of an MPL are highly sought after by commercial airlines and other aviation organizations.

Here are some potential career paths for individuals with an MPL:

  1. Commercial airline pilot: The primary career opportunity for MPL holders is to work as co-pilots or first officers for commercial airlines. With the MPL training focused on multi-crew operations, these pilots are well-prepared to work in a team environment and can seamlessly transition into airline operations.
  2. Corporate and business aviation: Pilots with an MPL can also find employment opportunities in the corporate and business aviation sectors, flying for private companies or high-net-worth individuals.
  3. Air cargo and charter operations: The MPL qualifies pilots to work in air cargo and charter operations, where multi-crew coordination and efficient resource management are crucial.
  4. Flight instructor: Experienced MPL holders can pursue careers as flight instructors, training the next generation of pilots in multi-crew operations and crew resource management.
  5. Aviation management and administration: With their extensive knowledge and experience in multi-crew operations, MPL pilots may also explore opportunities in aviation management, regulatory bodies, or aviation-related organizations.
  6. Aerial work and specialized operations: MPL holders can find opportunities in aerial work, such as aerial photography, surveying, or firefighting operations, where multi-crew coordination and decision-making skills are essential.

The career prospects for MPL holders are diverse and promising, both within India and globally. As the aviation industry continues to grow and evolve, the demand for highly skilled and well-trained pilots with multi-crew experience is likely to increase, making the MPL a valuable asset for aspiring pilots.

Top aviation schools in India offering MPL programs

Several reputable aviation training organizations in India offer comprehensive MPL programs approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Here are some of the top aviation schools in India offering MPL programs:

Florida Flyers Flight Academy

Florida Flyers Flight Academy India, based in Gondia, Maharashtra, is a renowned aviation training institute that offers a DGCA-approved MPL program. Their state-of-the-art facilities include advanced flight simulators, modern classrooms, and a fleet of well-maintained training aircraft. The academy has a strong focus on practical training and emphasizes crew resource management (CRM) throughout the program.

The National Flying Training Institute

The National Flying Training Institute (NFTI), located in Gondia, Maharashtra, is a premier aviation training organization in India. NFTI offers a comprehensive MPL program that combines theoretical knowledge with extensive simulator and flight training. The institute has a team of experienced instructors and maintains a fleet of modern training aircraft, ensuring a high-quality learning experience for aspiring pilots.

Bombay Flying Club

The Bombay Flying Club, based in Mumbai, is one of the oldest and most respected aviation training organizations in India. They offer a DGCA-approved MPL program that provides comprehensive training in multi-crew operations. The club boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including advanced flight simulators and a modern aircraft fleet, ensuring that students receive hands-on training in a realistic multi-crew environment.

These aviation schools are known for their commitment to excellence, experienced instructors, and modern training facilities. However, it is essential to thoroughly research and compare the programs offered by different aviation training organizations to find the best fit based on individual preferences, budget, and career goals.


The Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) is a unique and innovative training program that prepares aspiring pilots for the challenges of multi-crew operations in the modern aviation industry. By obtaining an MPL, pilots gain a competitive advantage in the job market and are better equipped to handle the complexities of working in a multi-crew environment.

The MPL program in India offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with extensive simulator and flight training, ensuring that candidates develop the necessary skills and competencies for safe and efficient multi-crew operations. From aviation law and aircraft general knowledge to crew resource management and threat and error management, the MPL curriculum covers a wide range of essential topics.

While obtaining an MPL can be a significant financial investment, the career opportunities and potential for professional growth make it a worthwhile pursuit for those passionate about a career in commercial aviation. With the increasing demand for skilled and well-trained pilots, holders of an MPL are highly sought after by commercial airlines, corporate aviation organizations, and other aviation-related industries.

By enrolling in an MPL program at a reputable aviation training organization in India, aspiring pilots can embark on an exciting and rewarding journey towards becoming a part of the multi-crew cockpit environment. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to excellence, the MPL can open doors to a fulfilling career in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of aviation.

Contact the Florida Flyers Flight Academy India Team today at +91 (0) 1171 816622 to learn more about the Private Pilot Ground School Course.