Topic Author
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

Difference Between Commercial Pilot & ATP

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:59 am

Hello. I was interested in knowing the precise differences between a commercial pilot and an ATP. I would appreciate any help.

Thanks in advance

Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:04 am

RE: Difference Between Commercial Pilot & ATP

Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:16 pm

Well, there is a dramatic difference in the number of hours required to obtain the commercial certificate as opposed to the ATP. Us lowly commercial pilots need only 250 hours (sometimes less if you train under 141) compared to 1,500 for the ATP. There are a few other miscellaneous hour requirements in there for the ATP too (X-C time, etc...) Also you need only be 18 for the commercial, 23 for an ATP. One interesting thing is that to get your ATP, the FAA requires you to be of "Good Moral Character"!

PIC's for 121 carriers are all ATP's, while the FAR's require you to be a commercial pilot to act as SIC. Both certificates allow the holders to fly for compensation or hire, and actually training for F/O's is usually done to ATP standards just as it is for captains. Many airline F/O's, especially at major airlines, are already ATP's, having been captain on another aircraft type, or their employer requries them to have an ATP before being hired, or they get their ATP as part of training.
Weather Modification Rocks!!!
Posts: 567
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:49 pm

RE: Difference Between Commercial Pilot & ATP

Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:25 pm

Quoting Undehoulli (Reply 1):
sometimes less if you train under 141

yup...190 is the number I believe...

In short, experience is the difference. The FAA isn't going to make you pay for your first 1200 hours and wait until you're 23 to have an aviation job, otherwise there would be VERY few pilots. So, they have this commercial pilot thing in there to give pilots an opportunity to gain experience (and money) as well as teach newer students before they are responsible for hundreds of lives each time the wheels leave the ground.

As a commercial pilot myself, I'm glad it's there, otherwise I would be one of those in the back instead of the front  Smile

Your CptSpeaking  wave 
...and don't call me Shirley!!
User avatar
Posts: 8561
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

RE: Difference Between Commercial Pilot & ATP

Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:20 pm

"Good Moral Character"

An arbitrary designation by any measure knowing some ATP's I've had the pleasure of acquaintance with  Wink

The same designation is required by most state bar associations to receive license to practice law.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
Topic Author
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Difference Between Commercial Pilot & ATP

Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:37 pm

Hi, thanks for the responses. I'm am about to begin training for aquiring the Commercial Pilot license, but under different regulations. I am not from the United States but from Colombia. The ATP and Commercial pilot licenses exist in Colombia, but I wasn't aware of what their difference was.

It is very common to find aeronautical divisions on different countrys using the FAA regulations, or very similar ones at least, and Colombia is no exception. Therefore I assume many of the things you have mentioned hold for my country as well.

The question arised because I was recently taking the class 1 medical exams to get the temporary student license, and when filling out the paperwork there was a field to choose between "Piloto de Transporte de Línea Aérea" (ATP in spanish), or the other licenses available, so I wondered what it was.

I am still in the preliminary phases of beggining my aviation career so I still need to clarify some things. I am certain I will learn about this and other things as soon as I begin my courses, but I find it helpful to be one step ahead by researching a bit on this forum before starting my studies.

If there's any additional information I would appreciate it.


*edit: I just found out a relevant regulation of the Aerocivil (colombian aeronautical division). It states you must be 21 years of age to be elegible for the ATP license.

[Edited 2006-07-03 08:01:27]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BravoOne, Mangs and 1 guest

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos