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Home > Licenses & Ratings > Does Singapore Airlines recognize the US FAA ATP license?
Does Singapore Airlines recognize the US FAA ATP license?
Professional Pilots - Licenses & Ratings
Written by Capt Lim   
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 13:03


Hi Capt Lim,  

I'm really interested to embark on a flying career but I'm in a dilemma as to which school to choose. I heard that there are some schools in the United States that are offering CPL courses but I'm not too sure whether they conform to the CAAS guidelines.  

Moreover, I've heard that SQ doesn't recognize the FAA license. Is that true?

And which schools would you recommend (in the States)?  Also, what are the things that I should look out for when choosing a school to enroll in?  

Thanks for your advice. Really appreciate it!  



Hi Nicholas,  

If you are interested to become an airline pilot in Singapore, I would suggest that you go to a flying school in the United Kingdom or Australia as their licenses are less of a hassle in terms of conversion to a local one.  

Yes, SQ or rather the CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority Singapore) does not recognize the US FAA ATP license per se. So you have to spend more money and time to make the American license valid before you can be legally employed in any Singapore-based airlines.  

To be issued with a Singaporean PPL, CPL or ATPL you have to satisfy the local requirements. In fact the exams and the rules governing its issue are loosely based on the UK system.  

However, subject to the applicants' experience, CAAS will, in some instances, accept FAA and JAA/UK licenses and issue a Singaporean license on the strength of the foreign license - but this is mainly for direct entry captains and well qualified first officers.  

If you were trained in Europe with the JAA ATPL, then from 1st Jan 2007, CAAS has recognized the JAA ATPL theory from any JAA member state, but you must have a full ATPL and not a frozen ATPL.

The only exam that you will have to take is the Singapore Air Law and probably 1 or 2 additional papers depending on the strength of your license.  However, you must show your JAA theory results, the aircraft rating and Instrument check ride report. If you do not fall under this category, then you may have to do a conversion, almost similar to the requirements for the conversion from a FAA ATP to the JAA ATPL, shown below :-  


  • Hold 1500hrs of which 500hrs is in FAR25 or FAR23 certified multi crew   aircraft, of which you need 250hrs in any aircraft type as PIC or 100 PIC under supervision

  • Hold a medical Class 1 JAA

  • Pass ALL 14 ATPL exams

  • Undertake training as recommended by a Approved schools Chief Ground Instructor (in other words you can do it quickly or over a long time, you have no requirement to sit through the 770 hour long course)

  • Undertake a type rating course at a JAA approved training provider

  • Complete a ATPL skills test with a United Kingdom CAA examiner

  • In Australia, the Singapore Flying College (SFC) Perth issues a CASA (Australian) CPL which meets the CAAS (Singapore) standards. That is why a CASA CPL will be easier to convert to a Singapore CPL. Unfortunately SFC trains mainly SQ cadet pilots.

Even if you have acquired a FAA license from any American flying school, according to CAAS, the conversion to a Singaporean ATPL is only possible when you can show that you have been employed by a local (Singapore) airline.  

So you can see that the route to being an airline pilot in Singapore is a long and winding one unless you are a SIA sponsored cadet pilot. 

As regards to choosing a good flying school and what to look for in choosing the school, I have answered them previously here.



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Comments (10)

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SIA scholarship..
Hey.. ah.. what if you're not singaporean and you wanna be a singapore airlines pilot? Will singapore airlines accept you? And what if you're trying to get Singapore Airlines Scholarship and you're not a singaporean or a resident of singapore..
Nicholas , 26 May, 2009
Don't do it
Want a good piece of advice, forget aviation and study to become a doctor or lawyer or something. Aviation as in it being a good and glorious job with lots of great places to explore does not exist anymore. Cutting costs has turned this once amazing profession into the biggest crap of a job one can have. As a B737 NG pilot I believe I have the right reserved to make such a statement. Good Luck
John , 05 Jun, 2009
can a pilot from US (FAA) fly an airplane in Singapore? If not, what should he do to get a license to fly in Singapore.
Deric , 10 Jun, 2009
Different countries have different organization e.g. America has FAA.To fly in Singapore i guess you need get a license through such organization.

FAA Test

FAA Test , 16 Oct, 2009
HELLO SIR MY NAME IS DEEPAK IAM FORM INDIA I WANT DO ATPL AND I WANT BE A GOOD PILOT CAN YOU HELP ME TO DO THIS COURS IN YOUR Aviation SCHOOL PLZ SEND ABOUT PRICE MY EMAIL IS ' This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' AND PHONE NUMBER IS ; 9866563732 TANK YOU
DEEPAK KUMAR.G , 22 Oct, 2009
Learn to spell firstsmilies/grin.gif
Pete , 23 Oct, 2009
Hi deepak.There are around 127 reputed institutes in India which provides certificate course in ATPL.Google it.You will find a lot of institutes.

Isis , 23 Oct, 2009
FAA ATP License
FAA ATP License has not been recognized by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
To get an American license is quite difficult. There are some requirements; defined by UK system that candidates have to fulfill such as the person has a working experience in any of the Singapore airlines. CAAS can accept JAA or FAA license easily when the person is experienced. Results of JAA or FAA have to be shown to the CAAS. FAA to ATPL License conversion can be possible if the candidate show the proof of his airline-experience of Singapore.

ATP License , 26 May, 2010

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