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  • AVI50219

Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Aeroplane)

At a glance

At a glance

Take your career to new heights and discover an exciting career as a commercial pilot.

  • Commercial Aeroplane Pilot
  • Aviation Manager

Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Aeroplane)

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Course overview

Course overview

The sky's the limit with an exciting career in the aviation industry as a qualified commercial aeroplane pilot. TAFE Queensland, in partnership with Townsville Flight Training, Airwork Aviation and Airways Aviation, will give you the skills and experience you need to take your career to new heights. Successful completion of this course will allow you to take to the skies as a commercial aeroplane pilot.

According to the Australian Government's Job Outlook service, the number of people working as air transport professionals grew very strongly over the past five years. This trend is set to continue with the number of job openings over the next five years expected to exceed 4,000.

In this course you'll learn how to perform normal and emergency commercial pilot duties including passenger, charter, and cargo operations. As a commercial aeroplane pilot you will discover a variety of options to hone your skills and open up a range of career opportunities including rural operations, joy-flights, air transport charter operations, and search and rescue.

Successful completion of this course will give you the knowledge and practical skills required to embark upon an exciting career as a commercial aeroplane pilot.


The successful achievement of this qualification requires you to complete all core and 1 elective unit listed below.

Maintain aircraft radio communications
Implement aviation risk management processes
Implement aviation fatigue risk management processes
Implement threat and error management strategies
Manage safe flight operations
Manage aircraft passengers and cargo
Manage human factors in aviation operations
Plan a flight under visual flight rules
Navigate aircraft under visual flight rules
Licence to operate a commercial aeroplane
Manage disruptive behaviour and unlawful interference with aviation
Manage pre- and post-flight actions
Operate and manage aircraft systems
Operate aircraft using aircraft flight instruments
Operate in controlled airspace
Operate in Class G airspace
Operate at non-towered aerodromes
Operate at a controlled aerodrome
Apply aeronautical knowledge to aviation operations
Apply the principles of civil air law to aviation operations
Execute advanced aeroplane manoeuvres and procedures
Manage abnormal aeroplane flight situations
Control aeroplane on the ground
Take off aeroplane
Control aeroplane in normal flight
Land aeroplane
Manage aircraft fuel
Manage situational awareness in aircraft flight
Maintain and manage situational awareness as pilot in command

Note: For some courses, not all electives are available at all campuses.

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Ways to study

Ways to study

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University pathways

If you want to go on to further study at university, TAFE Queensland has a pathway option to get you there. In many cases, completing one of our diplomas may give you a full year of credit towards a degree with one of our partner universities.

Learn more about university pathways
  • James Cook University
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Canberra
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Federation University
  • University of Southern Queensland
Payment options

Payment options

No matter what your circumstances, TAFE Queensland has a payment option to suit you. If you are unsure of what's right for you, get in touch. We're here to help.

Money IconUpfront payment

This may be the full fee for the course, or the student contribution amount if you are eligible for a subsidy or concession.

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Money IconVet Student Loan - $80,388 cap

This is an interest-free personal loan from the Australian Government that provides eligible students access to capped funding to help pay for their studies.

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Money IconPayment plan

If you have difficulty paying for the full cost of a course upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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Important Information
Important Information

Important Information

Entry requirements

Commercial or military pilot entrants to this qualification should check requirements with CASA or Defence Aviation for specific pilot entry standards.

Selection criteria

As part of the selection criteria for this program you must be able to:

  • Have obtained, and produced evidence of a current Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) for flight crew by the students first census date.
  • Have an Aviation Reference Number (ARN).
  • Have obtained, and produced evidence of a current Aviation Class 1 Medical by your first census date.
  • Be able to demonstrate English language proficiency with Townsville Helicopters to meet the minimum requirements set by CASA.

Participants must be a minimum of 18 years of age prior to the completion of the course to enrol in the qualification.

Resources required

North Queensland only
As part of this program the following resources will be required:

  • A calculator
  • Closed in shoes (not steel capped)
  • Accurate wrist watch
  • Townsville Flight Training uses a customised version of the Advanced Flight Training CPL book back for theory training. Please contact Townsville Flight Training directly for more information.

If you are completing this program in Townsville, you will also require the following region-specific charts for practical navigation:

  • Townsville/Cairns Visual Terminal Chart (VTC)
  • Townsville /Cairns Visual Navigation Chart (VNC)
  • Townsville, Clermont and Cloncurry World Aeronautical Charts (WAC)

Your instructor will let you know when these need to be purchased. Charts can be purchased at the school, or online from Aviation suppliers for approximately $12 each.

Due to wear and tear, you may need to purchase more than one copy of each chart during your training.

Gold Coast only
As part of this program Airways Aviation is providing a student induction pack (included in tuition fees), which includes the following:

  • ERSA spiral bound with RDS 
  • VNC: Brisbane/Sydney 
  • Log Book 
  • Bob Tait RPL/PPL Text Book Volume 1 and Volume 2 
  • ATC Flight radio for pilots 
  • ATC Flight Training Manual 
  • ATC Basic Aeronautical Knowledge 
  • E6B Flight Computer 
  • CASA Visual Flight Rules Guide 
  • ATC Visual Flight Guide 
  • VTC: Gold Coast Brisbane 
  • AIP 
  • CAO 
  • CAR 

You will also required to supply:

  • 1 x Polo shirt (approximately $44 each)
  • 2 x White student shirt (approximately $52 each)
  • 1 x Epaulette (approximately $21)
  • Black pants
  • Airways Aviation black jacket (approximately $95)
  • High visability vest
  • Calculator
  • Black closed in shoes (not steel caps)
  • Accurate wristwatch
  • Flight bag
  • Headset (recommended Bose 20)

Adelaide only
Tuition fees do not include the below items required for this course:

  • Aviation class 1 Medical
  • Aviation Security ID Card (ASIC)
  • Closed in shoes (no steel caps)
  • Personal headset and equipment 
  • Textbooks, charts and maps
  • CASA examination fees - prices vary depending on examination; please contact CASA for more information. 

Need to know

Please be aware that additional costs may be incurred for any unsuccessful examinations undertaken with The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). 

TAFE Queensland will invoice the student the cost of  re-examination as per the following:

  • Human Factors $155.90
  • Aerodynamics $155.90
  • Aircraft General Knowledge $155.90
  • Meteorology $155.90
  • Navigation $168.20
  • Flight Rules and Air Law $168.20
  • Operations, Performance and Flight Planning $178.60

Should extra flying hours be required to achieve the standard Commercial Pilot Licence, then additional fees may apply.


Gold Coast only
Third Party (ASIC or CASA) expenses required to be paid directly by the the student include:

  • ASIC (approximately $223)
  • CASA Class One Medical (approximately  $1,000)
  • CASA issued pilot licence (PPL and CPL $140)
  • CASA PPL test fee ($871)
  • CASA CPL test fee ($1,089)
  • CASA Flight test 3 hours ($1,230)

Please note that these third party costs are subject to change.

Assessment Methods

Skill and knowledge assessments are an essential step in progressing through your course. You may be assessed in a number of ways while you are studying at TAFE Queensland, including observation, written assessment, questioning, portfolios, work samples, third-party feedback, and through recognition of prior learning. Read more about assessment methods.


All information was accurate at time of publication, however TAFE policies, tuition fees and course content is subject to change without notice. Course commencement is dependent on sufficient enrolment numbers. Timetable information is subject to change prior to commencement and/or during the duration of your course.

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How to apply

How to apply

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and credit transfers

Fast track your way to a formal qualification by earning credit for the things you already know. Getting recognition for the skills you've gained from the workplace or previous learning means less study time for you, and getting the paper to prove you're qualified a whole lot sooner. We can assess your skills, directly apply credits from previous successful study, and give you advanced standing in your course.

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Get started with TAFE Queensland

If you have read and understood the student rules, refund policy, understand your fees and payment options, have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) and checked you meet the entry requirements and selection criteria for this course, you're ready to get started.

University pathways

If you want to go on to further study at university, TAFE Queensland has a pathway option to get you there. In many cases, completing one of our diplomas may give you a full year of credit towards a degree with one of our partner universities.

Learn more about university pathways
  • James Cook University
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Canberra
  • Federation University
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of Southern Queensland