What’s ATPL?

[Ref CAD 54]


  • a type of professional pilot’s licences
  • at least 21 year old for the grant of ATPL (in Hong Kong)
  • Medical Cert Class 1
  • Language proficiency requirement
  • Licence
  • Type rating


Limitation about age

  • cannot act as PIC or co-pilot after 60 years unless aeroplane is fitted with dual controls and carries a second pilot who has not attained the age of 60 years
  • not over 65 for all flight

[Ref to 2.1.2 – as per schedule 9 to the AN(HK)O 1995]


Limitation about flying experience (flying hours)

  • flying experience (C of E) minimum 1500 hours (“accountable hours”)
    [details refers to Part 3 Chapter 2 2.6 P.159]

    • 250 hours as PIC or PIC U/S
    • 200 hours cross-country as PIC of 300 nm completed in a single day, and come to rest at not less than 2 intermediate and different aerodromes
    • 100 hours night flying of which 25 hours must be on cross country, a minimum 65NM from the point of departure and 10 take-offs and 10 landings as PIC
    • 75 hours sole IFR
  • PIC, PIC U/S and PU/T counted in full;
    P2 counted at half rate


  1. SPIC – student PIC
  2. PIC U/S
    co-pilot performing the tasks of “pilot flying” may log the corresponding flight time as PIC U/S when he is seated at the flying controls and discharges the necessary duties. Time spent outside the control seat for rest purposes cannot be recorded as flight time for licensing purposes.
  3. P U/T
    10 hours of instrument flight time as pilot under instruction (P U/T) in aeroplanes, of which not more than 5 hours may be instrument ground time in an approved flight simulator or approved procedures trainer;
  4. P2 – co-pilot
  5. P2X – P2X rating (Cruise pilot / cruise relief pilot) – [Ref CAD 54, PDF 203]
    9.6.3. The holder of a P2X rating is restricted to operations above 20,000 ft only.
    When a relief co-pilot is at the controls, the other pilot at the controls must be fully qualified as Captain or F/O acting as PIC with a minimum of 3 months line flying experience on type.

    9.6.4. The restricted rating is currently available only on Airbus A330, A340 and Boeing 747-400 aeroplanes. (A350 ???)

    9.6.5. Relief co-pilots should record the actual time at the controls when they occupy the relevant crew seat. The recording of flight time for licence upgrade shall be in accordance with Part 1 Appendix C.


2.7.1. An applicant for an ATPL(A) is required to pass two groups of examinations :-

  1. Group 1 (Navigation)
  2. Group 2, (Technical)

There are 16 subjects10 in Navigation and 6 in Technical:

Navigation group

  1. Aviation Law
  2. Flight Planning and Flight Monitoring
  3. Navigation (Nav)
  4. Instruments
  5. Radio Aids
  6. Radio Telephony (RTF)
  7. Meteorology (Met) Theory
  8. Meteorology Practical
  9. Signals
  10. Human Performance

Technical group

  1. Principles of Flight
  2. Airframe Systems
  3. Engines
  4. Electrics and Automatic Flight
  5. Loading
  6. Aircraft (Type)


Some web pages and sources combine some of the subjects into 13 subjects :

  1. Air law
  2. Aircraft general knowledge
  3. Flight planning and monitoring
  4. Human performance and limitations
  5. Meteorology
  6. Operational procedures
  7. Principles of flight
  8. Communications (IFR & VFR)
  9. Performance
  10. General navigation
  11. Radio navigation
  12. Instrumentation
  13. Mass and balance


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