Commercial pilots control aircraft that transport passengers, mail or goods domestically and internationally. The job involves being responsible for flight preparation and the safety of the aircraft, passengers, crew and cargo. A commercial pilot must have received a permit from the civil aviation authorities to perform their job and may either have the right to work as a pilot-in-command or as a co-pilot in a commercial flight where two pilots are required.

Main tasks

• testing the function of individual aircraft parts and controls
• reading gauges in the airplane cockpit
• communicating with the air traffic control center during the flight
• handling flight documents on cargo weight, schedule, route and weather conditions
• logging data on flight duration, fuel consumption and aircraft condition

Competence requirements

To be able to start commercial pilot training, it is necessary to have a private pilot license and have completed a minimum of 27 secondary school credits in English, physics and mathematics. However, having completed a matriculation examination is recommended.

Commercial pilots need to be able to read maps and have good 3D vision. It is important to be able to receive instructions from air traffic control and to give clear instructions and directions to the flight crew and passengers. Commercial pilots also need to be able to work under considerable pressure and must to be able to make important decisions. A pilot needs to be interested in technology and technological innovations in the industry.


Private pilot training is approximately 150 hours of theoretical training in addition to a minimum of 45 flight hours in an airplane. The minimum age is 16 years. Commercial pilot training is two semesters in school, theoretical and practical, as well as 200 flight hours in an airplane. The study option is offered at the Iceland Aviation Academy at Keilir.

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