Study Aviation in Malaysia

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Study aviation in Malaysia - everything you need to know

Aviation, also known as air transport, describes activities and industries related to flight. Everything that has to do with flying or operating a plane has to do with aviation. The operation of an aircraft can be categorized as civil aviation and military aviation. Civil aviation includes all non-military passenger and cargo flights whether it is private or commercial. On the other hand, military aviation involves all military activities that have to do with aircraft.

Civil Aviation

Flights and aircraft in civil aviation are used for personal and business purposes, such as transporting goods or passengers, rather than for military purposes. Civil aviation includes two major categories, which are scheduled for air transport and general aviation. All scheduled air transport is commercial and for business purpose while general aviation can be either commercial or private, which is used for personal purpose.

Military Aviation

The use of military aircraft and other flying machines in military aviation is for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare. In Malaysia, The Malaysian Army Aviation (“Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat”, PUTD) is the Army Aviation branch of the Malaysian Army. TUDM serves to defend and protect our nation from threats by taking control of the airspace, involving operations like an offensive airstrike, defensive counter-air and defensive suppressive. TUDM is also responsible for air combat rescues.

How do I become a pilot?

To fly an aircraft, an individual must possess a pilot license. The types of licenses are:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

Let's learn more about each one of them.

Private Pilot License (PPL)

PPL is an entry level course that equips cadets with the foundations skills to pilot a single piston-engine aircraft with confidence.

Estimated cost: $5,800 (RM 24,000) to $6,000 (RM 26,000)

Entry requirements:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • Fluent in English Language
  • SPM/O-level/Equivalent
  • Completion of a Class II medical examination 
Examination Description Minimum Entry Requirement
Private Pilot’s License (PPL)

PPL is an entry level course that equips cadets with the foundations skills to pilot a single piston-engine aircraft with confidence.

Estimated cost: $5,800 (RM 24,000) to $6,000  RM 26,000


-  Minimum age of 17

- Fluent in English Language

- SPM/O-level/Equivalent

-  Completion of a Class II medical examination 

Commercial Pilot’s License (CPL)

CPL cadets are trained with the basic skills required to fly a commercial aircraft, a fundamental path to becoming a commercial airline pilot.

Estimated cost: $36,000 (RM 150,000) to $40,000 (RM 170,000)

(CPL with Frozen ATPL)

-  Minimum age of 17

-  Fluent in English Language

-  5 credits (including English, Mathematics and Science) in SPM/O-level/Equivalent

-  Completion of a Class I or II medical examination

-  Letter of approval from the CAAM

Airline Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL)

ATPL is a complementary course for cadets with an existing CPL.

Estimated cost: $36,000 (RM 150,000) to $40,000 (RM 170,000)

(CPL with Frozen ATPL)

-  Fluent in English Language

-  Existing and valid CPL

-  Completion of a Class I medical examination

-  Letter of approval from the CAAM

Assistant Flying Instructor License (AFI)

AFI is a course designed for trained pilots to become qualified flying instructors.

Estimated cost: $5000 (RM 20,000)

- Fluent in English Language

- Existing and valid CPL

- Completion of a Class I medical examination

- 150 logged hours as Pilot-in-Command

What are the skills needed to become a pilot?

The PPL examination consists of 6 examinations on knowledge needed to become a pilot. To get a PPL, one must pass these examinations with a pass mark of 70 percent or greater:

1.      Air Navigation and Flight Planning

2.      Aircraft Technical Knowledge

3.      Meteorology

4.      Human Factors

5.      Flight Radiotelephony

6.      Law

Where can I study Aviation Programmes in Malaysia?

Aviation is not a course as common as business, finance or engineering in Malaysia. However, there are many institutions in Malaysia where you can study aviation. These are some universities and flying academies you should check out:

Where can I study Aviation Programmes in Malaysia

Civil Aviation

1. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Being a renowned public research university in Malaysia, UTM is prestigious with its engineering courses. The Aeronautical Engineering program in UTM is offered as a specialization of Mechanical Engineering. The course covers five main areas, namely aerodynamics, aircraft structure, flight dynamics and control, propulsion and aircraft design.

The course includes a 12-week industrial placement during the semester break. This will make sure that the graduates of this program are exposed to the industrial needs and experience and satisfy the requirement to graduate as a mechanical engineer specializing in the field of aeronautics.

2. Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)

UTHM is one of the few public universities in Malaysia which offers an aviation bachelor’s degree. The programme offered concentrates on the aeronautical engineering technology to provide the substantial knowledge and skills for future engineers in the aviation field. The university is offering two aviation courses:

-    Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Technology (Professional Piloting) (Honours)

-    Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Technology (Aircraft Maintenance) (Honours)

Upon finishing the programme, the student will be well equipped with theoretical and practical knowledge in aviation to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) or Aircraft Maintenance Engineer License (AMEL).

Visit their web for more information on the minimum intake requirements.

3. Malaysian Flying Academy (MFA)


Due to the constantly changing nature of the industry, MFA continues to engage with airlines and industry specialists to introduce improvements in the syllabus offered. The courses offered by MFA are accredited by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the CAAM. The maximum number of cadets accepted into MFA per batch are 20 cadets in accordance to the strict requirements of the CAAM.

The courses offered by MFA is not a diploma nor a degree. MFA is offering courses to equip their cadets to obtain:

-          Private Pilot’s License (PPL)

-          Commercial Pilot’s License (CPL)

-          Airline Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL)

-          Assistant Flying Instructor License (AFI)

4. HM Aerospace (HMA)

HM Aerospace is a flight training academy under the Halim Mazmim Group and was selected by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) as one of its preferred training centre for its cadets. The training centre of HMA is located in Pulau Langkawi, situated right next to the Langkawi International Airport.

5. Layang Layang Helicopter Academy (LLHA)

LLHA is one of the few flight training academies which is located in Sabah. The academy owns various training aircraft like Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Bell 206 and Eurocopter AS 355 to provide students with best resources. LLHA is also continuously engaging with industry specialists and their courses are accredited by the CAAM. LLHA offers a complete training for Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing holding both ATPL license as well as PPL and CPL license.

6. International Aero Training Academy (IATAC)

IATAC  is located in Melaka, which is ideal for flight training with its low lying terrain. To help their cadets to pass the Theoretical Knowledge Exam conducted by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, IATAC provides the most up-to-date Computer Based Training (CBT) so that the cadets have a better advantage to pass the exam and enjoy higher employment prospect. IATAC offers pilot training courses like CPL, Abridge Course and Flight Simulator Training.

Military Aviation

If you would like to join The Malaysian Army Aviation, the application can be made through the application portal of The Malaysian Army. A recruit will be offered to join The Malaysia Army Aviation as a young soldier of the air force and will need to report themselves to undergo training based on their locations.

Area          Location
Peninsular Malaysia Akademi Tentera Udara, Ipoh
Sabah Terminal Feri Labuan
Sarawak TUDM, Kuching

A recruit who has passed the selection will have to undergo a training for 6 months before he or she is assigned to a position as a member of The Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) and will only have to pay RM 67.50 for group insurance for the first three months of the training.

What are the career opportunities?

Despite being an uncommon course to study in Malaysia, aviation has wide career options and talents in aviation are highly in demand. There are many organizations in Malaysia which require aviation talents to supervise flying activities in Malaysia.

Some organizations that seek for aviation graduates include Malaysia Airline System, Air Asia, AIROD, SME Aviation, Malaysia Helicopter Services (MHS), TLDM and PDRM Air Unit. Besides that, TUDM also requires aviation talents to operate, maintain, repair, oversee and manage different type of aircraft.

Job Description
Commercial Pilot A commercial pilot needs to have a CPL and ATPL to be a professional pilot who can be paid to fly.
Aeronautical Engineer Aeronautical engineers work with aircraft. They are involved primarily in designing aircraft and propulsion systems. They also study the aerodynamic performance of an aircraft and construction materials.
Air Traffic Controller An air traffic controller requires rapid decision making. The job of an air traffic controller is to prevent collision between aircraft in the air and on the land and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic.
Airport Operation Manager The airport operation manager oversees all aspects of business management, economics, public relations and personnel management of an airport.
Aircraft Maintenance Technician An aircraft maintenance technician is responsible for the safety of the aircraft by diagnosing, replacing and repairing aircraft parts, mechanical problems and electrical problems.




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