Been through some Malaysia’s aviation schools’ / flying academies’ websites, but cannot get an idea of which flight training course should be taken, and also, what are PPL, CPL/IR and ATPL all about?

What is PPL? Why CPL/IR but not just CPL? Why Frozen ATPL instead of ATPL?

If all of these appear to be totally strange and new to you, do not be hasty and get confused, may take some time, but understanding all these words can be just as easy as a piece of cake.

2.1 CPL/IR
3.1 Frozen ATPL
4 CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL


Private Pilot License
With PPL, one can fly privately, but cannot be paid or rewarded to fly even though carrying of passenger is allowed. Suits those who like to do solo flying and perhaps want to take up flying as a hobby. Maybe once in a while during weekend, bring along loved one, the moment when spending couple of hours in the air and experiencing private flying is surely one of the unforgettable pass-times.


Commercial Pilot License
It can be considered as a higher level of pilot license than the PPL. Easiest way to distinguish between these 2 licenses is that one is “private” and another is “commercial”, as easy as that. In order to be employed by any airlines all around the world, holding a CPL is being internationally recognized as one the lowest requirements to be met. Obviously a CPL holder can be paid to fly as long as he/she is hired, however if wondering which qualification results in a better chance of being employed and get better salary, that will be the CPL/IR.

  • CPL/IR

    Commercial Pilot License and Instrument Rating
    Foremost, just want to acknowledge that a CPL holder can only fly while at same time obeying to the VFR, Visual Flying Rules (same goes to PPL). This VFR in a very short sentence means that a pilot must be able to see the surface while navigating, and flying in cloud is strictly prohibited. Therefore at this point, an IR comes in handy, but how is that so? Well, an IR is just like an add-on to the CPL and with this, flying in cloud is allowed, which one of reasons in behind that allows this to be happened is that pilot (with an IR) able to navigate with reference to the aircraft instruments. Most of important of all, a CPL/IR holder will more likely be employed and offered higher salary if compared to those who hold only a CPL.


Airline Transport Pilot License
There is actually nothing much to discuss about ATPL, in general, it is just a pilot license that comes after the CPL/IR, progressions are just similar to degree studies, in order to reduce confusion, one can always assume that PPL = Level 1, CPL = Level 2, ATPL = Level 3 and finally approaches the completion of flight training, just as one graduates from U or UC (University or University College). Of course, a more advance pilot license definitely means more knowledge, flying experience and flying hours, thus eventually this will no doubt leads to higher rate of employment, higher positions, as well as the more variable of incentives.

  • Frozen ATPL

    Frozen Airline Transport Pilot License
    A Frozen ATPL can be considered as the first part of the ATPL license, it is issued to those who have completed the theoretical portion, but not the practical part of it. Hence, it is frozen because one has not achieves the flying hours required for his or her ATPL to be fully granted, which is “unfreeze” in another word. It usually comes together with the CPL/IR, which in whole is regularly known as the CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL. For a clearer view of it, please kindly refer to the diagram below:

CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL

Commercial Pilot License and Instrument Rating with Frozen Airline Transport Pilot License
In Malaysia, most of the flying schools/academies are offering this course, as mentioned in the above figure, it is an integrated course, for those who manage to complete this study, he or she will be ready to work for any airlines from all over the world, and for extra information, a CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL from Malaysia is being recognized globally, thus applying a job from any cross country renowned airlines shall not be always a pie in the sky.

While browsing through flying schools/academies’ websites, one may notice that some of the schools treat each course individually, and seldom see course written as CPL/IR with FROZEN ATPL. For instance, the most typical form of flight courses being offered in Malaysia goes like this:

PPL ⇒ CPL/IR ⇒ APTL (Theory)

  • PPL
  • CPL/IR
    Very rare to see just “CPL” in these days, as nowadays IR is very essential.  If in some random cases a “CPL” appears, IR most of time will be approached in the very end as well.
  • ATPL (Theory)
    Mostly being treated as Frozen ATPL, approved flying schools/academies in Malaysia will usually train their cadet up to theoretical part of it.

Why not just CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL? Well, some people may want to stop their licensing at a particular level or to continue training from an existing license, therefore instead of offering flight courses in a whole as CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL, these training are often being split up into PPL, CPL/IR and ATPL (Theory).

Who knows, somebody may just want to take a PPL and become a private pilot… or it can also be a person with an existing PPL wishes to further pursue his or her studies for a CPL/IR…

In a nutshell, no worries should be taken if one cannot find the CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL from schools’/academies’ websites or brochures, as long as physically PPL, CPL/IR and ATPL (Theory) are being offered, then logically the CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL “concept” will surely be adapting in behind. Approved flying schools/academies will normally train their cadets with IR and theoretically up to the Frozen ATPL level.

By J T

I am a boy. I live in a happy family.

4 thoughts on “Pilot Licenses (Courses) in Malaysia’s Aviation Schools / Flying Academies”
  1. Hello, I enjoyed reading your blog.

    I was wondering if I could ask a favour? I’m currently doing my disseration for my Master’s Degree and I’m wanting to ask people’s opinions on the subject of air travel. Especially of interest are those residents of Hong Kong.

    If you could just take a few minutes to help complete my survey, I’d be most grateful.

  2. Any loan for CPL/IR and frozen ATPL?If yes,can you stated it and explain how to apply?thanks.

  3. i m from srilanka and what are the qualification need for me,and what are the documents need to submit

  4. It usually comes together with the CPL/IR, which in whole is regularly known as the CPL/IR with Frozen ATPL.

Comments are closed.