Q: I am interested in becoming a pilot. Can I learn to fly in Dubai?

Before applying for the programme it is necessary you do a psychometric test to ensure your skill sets match your passion. It is critical to ensure the mindset and psychological attributes are all in sync. Character traits would include the ability to work and take decisions under pressure, the confidence and ability to handle crises and a sense of responsibility.

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To become a commercial pilot you would have to go through three stages of licences – the SPL (Student Pilot Licence), PPL (Private Pilot Licence) and CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence). In addition you would need to write an exam in aviation meteorology, air navigation, technical planning and communications in radio and wireless transmission.

On completion of the CPL you would be required to train on multi engines and eventually apply for the Airline Transport license, which will enable you to fly solo and also captain an aircraft.

For enrolment, the flying school would require an entrance exam followed by medical tests. The physical tests are fairly stringent and along with a high standard of physical fitness your eye vision must be as prescribed.

Australia, New Zealand, UK and Russia are common destinations for pilot training.

In Dubai, the Emirates Flying School in Dubai Airport offers private and commercial licences and holds classes in a commercial flying environment with exposure to international airport procedures, radio-telephony and operations at international commercial standards. Emirates Aviation College offers the JAA licensed pilot training programme, conducted over a period of 17 months. Dubai Aerospace Enterprise University (DAEU) offers bachelor’s degrees in aviation and martial piloting.

While selecting a school, check out the number of aircraft available for training, quality and age of the aircraft, the experience and qualifications of the instructors, the facilities the school has for repairs and maintenance, the weather in the area and other aspects that could affect your flying schedule.

Sanjeev Verma is an international education counsellor (sanjeev@intelligentpartners.com, www.intelligentpartners.com). Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.