The Student Pilot License SPL


When I started into aviation, the first step I took is to do my medicals. But a prerequisite before starting your flying training is to get your student pilot license.

I still remember my Student pilot license interview, in which my chief flying instructor, ground instructor, and a representative from DGCA was present. I was sweating profusely even with the air conditioning set at 19 degrees. However it went, you can read my experience in detail here.


Age— The applicant shall be not less than sixteen years of age on the date of application.

Educational Qualification— He/She shall have passed Class Ten or its equivalent examination from a recognised Board.

Medical fitness — He/ She shall produce on a prescribed performa, a certificate of physical fitness from an approved medical practitioner after undergoing a medical examination. During which He/She shall have established his medical fitness on the basis of compliance with the requirements as notified by the Director-General.

Knowledge — He shall pass oral examination in Air Regulations, Air Navigation, Aviation Meteorology and Aircraft and Engines as per the syllabus prescribed by the Director-General. Unless he previously held a pilot’s licence of a higher category, or is able to produce evidence in the manner prescribed by the Director-General that he is well-versed with the aforesaid subjects.


The privileges of the holder of a Student Pilot’s Licence shall be to fly within Indian territory only, as Pilot-in-Command of any aeroplane, helicopter, glider or light sport aircraft or gyroplane entered in the aircraft rating of his licence.

Provided that :­-

(a) he shall fly at all times under the authority and supervision of a Flight Instructor or an Approved Examiner.

(b) he shall fly under Visual Flight Rules only.

(c) he shall not carry passengers, animals and goods or fly for hire, reward or remuneration of any kind.

(d) he shall not undertake cross-country flights unless he has a minimum of ten hours of solo flight time and has passed the examinations in Air Navigation and Aviation Meteorology.


The licence may be renewed for a period not exceeding twelve months from the date of fresh medical examination. The total validity of the licence can not exceed twenty four months from the date of issue. In simple words, the validity is 2 years provided your medical is valid.


So I know the first doubt that comes to your mind is, what if I train abroad, who will give me my SPL??. The answer is, in countries like US and Canada, your medical certificate is itself considered as an SPL. In others countries, you get the local Student pilot licence which can be converted after you come back to India.

The next question that people ask is, Will the school prepare me? Is it difficult??. So let me tell you, no one I know of has ever failed in the SPL interview and you are well prepared for your interview by your instructors. So don’t worry and be confident. Don’t forget to be well groomed and well dressed.
Happy landings. Cheers.

You can get further information on the DGCA website.

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