ATPL Air Transport Pilot Licence
Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) (1998) 61.700(3) (a) states "passed the aeronautical knowledge examination for the air transport pilot licence and the associated aircraft category rating" as one of the qualifications for the issue of an Air Transport Pilot Licence.
The ATPL theory exams, for both aeroplane and helicopter categories, respectively test the Aeronautical knowledge standards specified in CASR Part 61, Manual of Standards, Schedule 3.
In each (aeroplane and helicopter) ATPL exam, there are seven parts. Each part covers one or two aeronautical subject(s) detailed in the respective syllabus. Due to the syllabus scope for each part and the time involved, each part is examined separately. Thus each of the (aeroplane and helicopter) ATPL part-exams is an individual exam.
The part-exams are commonly referred to as subject exams but essentially each subject exam is just a part-exam of the ATPL (aeroplane or helicopter) exam.
Candidates may choose to sit subject-part exams in any order they prefer, and in any number in a day, subject to the sessions available at an approved venue for that day.
A candidate passing a subject exam is awarded a temporary pass for that subject. When all seven subject exams have been passed within a window (see
Re-training period and window, the candidate is awarded a full ATPL exam credit (either for aeroplane or helicopter).
Notes: A pass in a subject exam may only be held as a temporary pass until the candidate successfully completes the set of seven subject exams in the window period described above.
If all the seven subject exams are not passed within the defined period, the temporary pass(es) for subject exam(s) will progressively become EXPIRED PASSES at the end of the window.
Therefore candidates are strongly advised not to attempt any subject exam until they have undertaken comprehensive and satisfactory aeronautical knowledge training, required by the respective aeronautical knowledge syllabus.
For both aeroplane and helicopters, the subject exam testing the syllabus section 'Aircraft General Knowledge' is examined under the title of 'Aerodynamics & Aircraft Systems', while that for 'Flight Rules & Air Law' is examined under the title of 'Air Law'.
The following table illustrates the subject exams for the relevant ATPL licence, their respective exam code and the time currently permitted for the sitting.
|Subject||Aircraft Category||Exam Code||Time|
|Air Law||Aeroplane & Helicopter||AALW||1.5 hours|
|Human Factors||Aeroplane & Helicopter||AHUF||1.25 hours|
|Meteorology||Aeroplane & Helicopter||AMET||1.5 hours|
|Navigation||Aeroplane & Helicopter||ANAV||1.5 hours|
|Flight Planning||Aeroplane||AFPA||3 hours|
|Performance & Loading||Aeroplane||APLA||2.5 hours|
|Aerodynamics & Aircraft Systems||Aeroplane||AASA||1.5 hours|
|Flight Planning||Helicopter||AFPH||3 hours|
|Performance & Loading||Helicopter||APLH||2.5 hours|
|Aerodynamics & Aircraft Systems||Helicopter||AASH||1.5 hours|
Pre-requisite for ATPL exam
The pre-requisite qualification for sitting the ATPL exam is an Australian Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) or a 'full exam credit'* in the Australian CPL exam of the relevant aircraft category.
* For the current CPL exam version (effective since 12 March 2002) the term 'full exam credit' means all 7 subject part exams have been passed within the permitted period.
Exam Information and Syllabus
ATPL (Aeroplane) Examination information book - Version 2.5 September 2014 (284K)
ATPL (Helicopter) Examination information book - Version 2.5 September 2014 (281K)
Training & Exam Workbook for the ATPL (Aeroplane) Weight & Balance Syllabus* - updated 22 August 2011 (577kB Adobe Acrobat file)
B727-200 Load & Trim Sheet* - updated 22 August 2011 (104kB Adobe Acrobat file)
ATP(H)L S76 Performance Handbook (1.83M Adobe Acrobat file)
*CASA continues to retain copyrights of the documents. The download is cost-free. In this respect, a condition for Australian flying training schools and flight crew exam candidates to download these CASA documents is that the documents must not be sold on a commercial basis, and to be used only for training purposes. However, flying training schools downloading the documents for use by their students may cost-recover (without profit) for the printing and, where applicable, binding services.