What is a Student Pilot License (SPL) & How to obtain one?

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student pilot license

What is a student pilot license?

A student pilot license (also known as a student pilot certificate in the USA) is a type of pilot license/certificate issued by aviation authorities to individuals learning to fly.

It is the initial step in the pilot training process and allows aspiring pilots to gain experience and flight time under certified flight instructor (CFI) supervision.

The SPL proves a student pilot is capable of conducting safe flights and medically fit for decision-making during flight operations.

Having an SPL implies that a student is ready to learn fundamental flying skills and aircraft maneuvers. Hence, having an SPL is a requirement to begin flight training.

The student pilot license (or the student pilot certificate) is the first step to progress in the aircraft flying profession.

How to get a Student Pilot License (SPL)?

The process of obtaining an SPL might vary slightly depending on the aviation authority’s regulations in your country.

However, here are the general steps that are involved:


The essential eligibility requirement to get a student pilot license is being 16 years old.

One must be physically and mentally fit to obtain a student pilot license. A medical certificate determines the bodily well-being of an individual.

Medical Certificate:

Schedule and undergo a medical examination with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) approved by the aviation authority. The medical certificate ensures you meet the medical fitness requirements to pilot an aircraft.

A student pilot needs to obtain a Class 3 medical certificate to begin flight training.

Study for Written Exams:

Begin studying the theoretical knowledge that is required for flying.

You can enroll in an online ground school for a private pilot license or take admission in an in-person classroom.

The lessons examine aviation regulations, meteorology, navigation, aerodynamics, and other relevant subjects.

Enroll in a flight school:

Research and select a reputable flight school offering student pilot training.

Once you enroll in a flight school, the liaison officer can process the student pilot license for you after you meet the requirements.

Otherwise, you can also process the student pilot license by applying to the FAA.

License Issuance:

Upon successfully meeting the requirements, you will be issued an SPL by the aviation authority, the FAA, in the United States.

Fees for an SPL:

The fees for obtaining an SPL can vary depending on the country and flight schools. Typically, the only cost associated with obtaining a student pilot certificate is taking the medical examinations.

I urge you to contact your local aviation body by sending them an email to find the full details of the cost of getting an SPL.

Waiting period and processing time for an SPL:

The waiting and processing times vary significantly based on location and specific circumstances.

Communicating with your flight school and aviation authority is essential to get the most accurate information regarding the expected waiting period and processing time for an SPL in your region.

The first privilege of a student pilot license is it enables you to fly your aircraft solo.

This license will allow you to continue your flight training and fly solo under the specified restrictions and regulations.

This is a significant milestone in your training where you will fly the aircraft alone, typically within a designated training area, under the supervision of your instructor.

The license typically allows practice and training flights within defined airspace and specific aircraft limitations. Similarly, at this point, having a student pilot license allows the trainees to be the PIC of flights.

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