The New ATPL Flight Test

Reading Time: 12 minutes

What you need to know about the new requirements to obtain a full Airline Transport Pilot Licence in Australia.

For many years, to obtain an ATPL it was sufficient to complete all seven exams and meet the minimum aeronautical experience requirements; 1500h total, 100h night, 75h instrument, etc. (CASR 61.705)

In 2014, CASA introduced the additional requirements to complete an approved course of multi-crew cooperation training as well as to pass an ATPL Flight Test.

The ATPL flight test assesses the applicant’s competencies as pilot in command of a multi-crew operation. It is conducted as an IFR operation in a multi-engine turbine powered aeroplane (normally a simulator) operated with a co-pilot.

This has led to frustration and confusion by aspiring airline pilots. In the months leading up to the regulatory changes, CASA said that in essence this would change nothing, as instead of individuals forking out thousands, airlines would have to organise ATPL flight tests as part of their training programmes. However frustrated pilots soon found themselves looking at job postings that they could have previously qualified for but now called for a full ATPL as one of the minimum requirements.

To help gain an appreciation of the ATPL flight test for this article I have spoken with two Flight Examiners.

Cameron Marchant, Flight Examiner and Director at Flight Standards, provided great insight into the process:

ATPL Flight Test

Cameron Marchant concludes:


Grahame Murray is an ATPL Flight Examiner based in Tamworth, NSW. He talks us through a different perspective of what to expect during the test itself:

Grahame Murray not only has extensive experience as a Chief Pilot, Check Captain and Flight Examiner but is also a former CASA Flight Operations Inspector. Currently he is CEO and Head of Flying Operations at Valor K’, a company specialising in Fractional Jet Ownership and Aircraft Management.

This article was written by David Roses. This content is not sponsored.