FAA Commercial Certificate Requirements


The FAA Commercial certificate requirement comprise of the rules and regulations that are imposed on the eligibility criteria of pilots who are to control aircrafts and aviation vehicles.

The certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration branch of the Department of Transportation.

This certificate is compulsory for authentication of a pilot to be working under official registration by the State, hence it is important for candidates to fulfill the basic requirements associated with the FAA commercial certification of pilots.

General Structure and Key Features of FAA Commercial Certificate:

There are certain levels of professionalism in the career of a pilot and the FAA commercial certificate is issued according to the individual’s designation. Hence the certificate requirements are bound to vary correspondingly, which has been detailed below:

  • Student Pilot: The individuals who are still being instructed or supervised upon by flight inspectors and have limitations over flying permissions fall in this category. The aviation medical examiner generally issues certificates to this class of pilots. The validity of the certificate is till the last day of the month after a period of either 24 months [above 40 pilots] or 60 months [below 40] from the date of issue of certificate.
  • Sports Pilot: Individuals who have permission of flying Light-sport Aircrafts only are included in this category.
  • Recreational Pilot: An individual may qualify as a recreational pilot if he is authorized to fly a maximum of 180 horsepower aircrafts having four seats, for the purpose of pleasure during day hours only.
  • Private Pilot: A private pilot is one who can fly either for personal business-related reasons or simple pleasure, without acceptance of any form of compensation.
  • Commercial Pilot: Individuals, who fly aircrafts for compensation or hire rates, with certain restrictions imposed on the practice, qualify as commercial pilots.
  • Airline Transport Pilot: For certain scheduled airlines, pilots are authorized to “act in command” and they fall in this category.

Each of the category of pilots have to fulfill certain eligibility criteria based on various factors such as age, nationality, physical fitness and mental state, verbal and written skills, knowledge of certain subjects, IQ, etc.

Requirements for attaining FAA Commercial certificate:

There are certain rules based on which the State grants an FAA commercial certificate to an individual who wants to be a pilot. The general tests that are required to be passed include:

  • Knowledge tests
  • FAA Written Exam
  • FAA Oral Exam
  • FAA Practical
  • Instrument ratings
  • Flight instructor certification


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