Where should I do my Pilot training from? India or Abroad?

Captain Puneet Baldawa
6 min readJan 22, 2024


Pilot training is an unconventional educational course where one trains themselves to be a qualified and proficient personnel at flying the aircraft safely and, take the responsibility of not only the passengers, but also on the aircraft. As you all must have heard, that it’s a very expensive course and requires a lot of dedication. Additionally, it requires a huge amount discipline, a strong foundation and right safety habits. It’s the best decision to start building your strong foundation from Day 1 in Aviation. My aim through these blogs is to assist everyone to build a stronger base and become an successful safe pilot.

First Officer with IndiGo

The first step of pilot training is to decide whether you should take up the Pilot training course or not. Since, it’s an unconventional course, there are high possibilities of not being sure of this decision. If you are yet to finalize this course, you can click here to read the blog which talks about the pros and cons of being a pilot. Second step is to decide where to do your pilot training from, India or Abroad.

A line pilot is expected to fly in adverse weather, various levels of airspace, learn through all the emergencies and lot more situations. Pilots only grow with the exposure and experience of flying, and learning curve starts from the Day 1 of Aviation. If you would ask me about where to do flying, I would personally prefer doing the CPL training from an abroad country like USA or Canada. I had completed my pilot training from India, but I would still suggest to go abroad.

I would still let you decide what suits you better. I will help you with the reasons why I thought of training in abroad is better compared to India. If you feel any or all of the reasons are getting fulfilled in India, then best decision is to complete it in India. Apart from having 2 CPL i.e. Abroad and India, there are other benefits. Let’s talk about it one by one.

1. Exposure of flying from tight to relaxed airspace.

As I explained earlier, a Pilot grows with experience and exposure. The journey of attaining CPL in aboard is, initially you attain a SPL and then PPL, post that Instrument Rating and at the end you get your earned CPL. Since, initially you get PPL, you are now qualified to land at various airports. And by getting an Instrument rating later on, you become eligible to fly in tight airspace which requires a lot of precision. In India, it takes time for any license to get issued, that’s why cadets don’t prefer applying for PPL or IR. Additionally, the renting-an-aircraft concept is yet to come up in India.

CPL training

2. Get to test the abroad market in various activities related to flying.

The flying perspective in abroad is quite wide enough compared to India. In India, CPL training is more about just completing your hours, getting the license and applying for Airline job/instructing. In abroad, not only the whole pilot training a full of learning experiences involved with a lot of fun, but also on completion of CPL you can also fly for various purposes like agricultural, chartered, aerobatics, instructional and many more. So, even after completing your CPL, you get a lot of options of flying, unlike in India. With this, you can test yourself in that market too and take up a job to gain more hours and varied experience quickly.

Agricultural Flying

3. Proficiency level

Proficiency means how good and efficient you are in your work. After attaining CPL, you are eligible to fly commercially across the globe with passengers. But with this right, a duty follows along i.e. Having a knowledge like a CPL-IR holder. This is not much focused in India. Being aware of the emergencies, route planning, ABC’s of flying, etc. are something which should be rehearsed often. It is not possible for you to start thinking of actions when the emergency comes up, the actions should be in motor memory. With all the various style of flying, various aircraft you get to fly, your experience increases and you become a more proficient pilot.

Airbus 320

4. Experience to land at various airports.

There is a saying,” Apne ilake mein har koi sher hota hai!”. You might be spot on while landing at your home base, but the picture changes once you are expected to land at a new airfield. The slope might be different, or the winds are turbulent or runway width is different or might be having more traffic or the elevation is different, so the circuit pattern altitude is different, or there could be terrain nearby and many more variations. When these things come into action, your reaction changes and can be seen in your flying skills (I don’t mean to say the skills might be bad, but you will get the exposure of it). Abroad, because of being a PPL/IR holder, you can land at various airports and gain the experience. In India, you land at other airports 5–6 times only in your whole CPL training.

Landing at airport

5. Can take friends and family for joyrides

With all the intense training you will be going through, you need some relaxation. You also need to enjoy your training phase with new friends that you will be making over there. You can rent an aircraft and take your friends or family for joyrides (not for the renumeration at start) and visit beautiful locations, party places etc. nd live your life. And the beautiful thing about this is, it’s a part of your training i.e. Hours building. Additionally, the PPL/CPL is valid for lifetime. So, if you happen to go there for a vacation later in the life, you can still do 1–2 FAM flights and can go for joyrides.

Flying with Friends and family

Now I am sure, you must be thinking, “What about the cost of the training? That’s where the whole training revolves around.” To answer this question, don’t be surprised, but the cost is almost similar at both the locations, with more benefits if done abroad. Here is a rough calculation to get an idea for it:

The overall cost of flying abroad is about 35 lakhs, accommodation will be around 3 lakhs (depending on your lifestyle), flight cost/daily needs/unforeseen costs will be around 4 lakhs and to complete your conversion in India will be around 1 lakh. Total costing comes to 45 lakhs for 250 hours of flying, which is somewhat similar you might spend in India but for 200hours.

So all in all, what needs to be focused on is the level of training you receive for your Pilot training, because you are going to be one of the most responsible person and most looked upon person in the aircraft. Train yourself well and take this training seriously and be a proficient and safe pilot. Good luck for the Pilot Training, we are together in this journey! Looking forward to flying you someday.



Captain Puneet Baldawa

I am an A320 Rated Commercial Pilot flying with IndiGo. I have finished my flight training from India. I am a Cofounder of Streamline Aviation Academy.