Countries > Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate

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  • This is the license that permits the holder to pilot an aircraft for non commercial purposes. The goal for most people in Ethiopia,is to go for Private Pilot Certificate, which comes in several flavors, depending on which type of aircraft you train in.
  • For most people,. this means airplanes, though others become private pilots in helicopters, gliders, balloons, and so forth.
  • The ultralight vehicles are those that have only one seat, are used only for recreational or sport flying, don't have an airworthiness certificate and weigh less than 155 pounds if not powered and less than 254 pounds if powered with a maximum of 5 gallons. They also have speed and time of operation restrictions and cannot be flown over congested areas or at large gatherings such as air shows.


It is eligible for citizens/residents of Ethiopia engaging in Air transport Business.

  • A citizen of Ethiopia,
  • An individual citizen of another State who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in Ethiopia,
  • A corporation lawfully organized and doing business under the laws of Ethiopia and the aircraft is based and primarily used in Ethiopia,
  • A government entity of Ethiopia or political subdivision thereof; or
  • A foreign person who has leased the aircraft to one of the persons described in paragraphs above.
  • Pass the written examination given by Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority on required knowledge areas.
  • Pass an oral and flight test given by a Designated Flight Examiner
  • Hold a current class II Medical Certificate

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  • Pilots can begin training at an age of 18 and can solo balloons and gliders at age 21 in Ethiopia.
  • A license will contain a number of sub-qualifications or ratings.
  • An ECAA-issued pilot certificate is evidence that an individual is duly authorized to exercise piloting privileges in Ethiopia.
  • An individual may hold only one pilot certificate at one time.
  • Most pilot certificates and ratings require the applicant to pass a knowledge test, also called the written test.
  • All pilots certificates and ratings require a practical test.

Required Information

  • Be at least 18 years old and a citizen of Ethiopia or Resident of Ethiopia.
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test from Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority,
  • Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience, including the following:
  • At least 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight.
  • 5 hours of solo cross-country time including one flight of at least 150 nautical miles with full stop landings at a minimum of three points
  • Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.
  • 3 hours of night flight training and 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport
  • 3 hours of instrument flying training
  • Pass an oral and flight test administered by an ECAA inspector or ECAA designated examiner.


The journey to becoming a private pilot is an exciting one, but it is also a major investment of time and money, and learning before you can take to the skies.Learning to fly an airplane can literally be the experience of a lifetime.

The privileges of the holder of a private Pilot License, shall be to act, but not remuneration, as pilot-in-command or co-pilot on any airplane engaged in non-revenue flights.

Before you plan to obtain a private pilot certificate you will need to find out if you are considered fit to fly an airplane. The ECAA has a website which can help you find ECAA authorized medical examiners in your area, You will need a third class medical certificate in order to proceed with flight training.

You can complete ground school without a medical certificate but you may not want to go through that expense if you can't get a private pilot certificate because of your health. If your English isn't good, start taking English lessons. Pilots need to be able to speak, read and understand English so they can talk to control towers and other aviators when needed.

Now you are ready to start with the real training for becoming a licensed pilot. You will need to complete ground school and at least 40 hours of flight training before you can attempt the three tests you need to pass to get your license. You will need a written or computerized test of aeronautical knowledge, and a flight test,a medical certificate is also required.

Here is an outline of the procedure for those wishing to qualify for a private pilot's license
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner. The medical certificate you will receive is also a student pilot's license which allows you to start flight training immediately.
  • Buy a comprehensive ground school course which you can study at home on your computer.
  • When you are doing well on the practice tests and are feeling confident, make an appointment at your local Flight Service District Office to take the computerized aeronautical knowledge test.
  • After passing the test contact Fixed Base Operators at your local airport, ask for a quotation, and tell them that you have a student pilot's licence/medical certificate, and that you have passed the aeronautical knowledge test and that you wish to complete your flight training in few weeks.
  • You could also start familiarize yourself with the Airplane Flight Manual for the aircraft you are flying. Many of the questions asked in the FAA oral examination are about the aircraft's systems and performance.

The other obvious reason for doing this is that you need to be knowledgeable about the systems and performance of the aircraft you are flying. Financial planning is one of the most important issues to think about early on, and it is best to work out a realistic budget to begin with.

This will help you decide if you can really afford to go through with it, and it will also help you to keep your expenses in check as you go forward. Draw a budget to finance the total cost of the flying. Realistically you should allow for a 10% overrun. That is, budget on doing 40 hours of flying. The national average in the Ethiopia is 60+ hours. One of the reasons for this is that people flying only 1 or 2 hours a week lose currency which results in them having to repeat maneuvers in order to satisfy their instructor.

You have to present identification that includes your photograph, signature, and home address. Any one of the following:

A certificate of graduation from a pilot training course conducted by an ECAA-approved pilot school, or a statement of accomplishment from the school certifying the satisfactory completion of the ground-school portion of such a course A written statement from an ECAA-certified ground or flight instructor, certifying that you have satisfactorily completed the required ground instruction Logbook entries by an ECAA-certified ground or flight instructor, certifying satisfactory completion of the required ground instruction A certificate of graduation or statement of accomplishment from a ground school course conducted by an agency such as a high school, college, adult education program, the Civil Air Patrol, or any Flight Training Program.

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Required Documents

  • A computerized aeronautical knowledge test
  • Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience document.
  • A third class medical certificate.
  • A computerized aeronautical knowledge test
  • A Record of 40 hours of flight time
  • A record of Pass an oral test and flight test administered by an ECAA inspector.
  • A flight instructor certificate;
  • An instrument rating.

Preflight operations, including weight and balance determination, line inspection, and airplane servicing.

  • Airport and traffic pattern operations, including operations at controlled airports, radio communications, and collision avoidance precautions.
  • Flight maneuvering by reference to ground objects.
  • Flight at slow airspeeds with realistic distractions, and the recognition of and recovery from stalls entered from straight flight and from turns.
  • Normal and crosswind takeoffs and landings.
  • Control and maneuvering an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including descents and climbs using radio aids or radar directives.
  • Cross-country flying, using pilotage, dead reckoning, and radio aids.
  • Maximum performance takeoffs and landings.
  • Night flying, including takeoffs, landings, and VFR navigation.
  • Emergency operations, including simulated aircraft and equipment malfunction.


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


Valid for 1 year and then a renewal is required

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Processing Time

The processing takes 6 months

Office Locations & Contacts

Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority
Director General Office

Tel: 251-11 665 0252

Mobile: 251-91-1201266

Fax: 251 11 665 0269



Aviation Regulation Directorate

Tel: 251 11 665 0256

Mobile: 251-91-1208053



Air Navigation Services Directorate

Tel: 251 11 665 0265

Mobile: 251-91-1201267



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