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Converting Foreign License To Malaysian CPL – FAA 2019

by Visnu

As much as we love discounts, discount offers from aviation schools are sketchy. If the standard training price is worth about, and a school offers it a marked down rate of say, 100K USD  then by all means double check the credibility of that school.

Legitimate aviation schools charge expensively because of the facilities that will be involved in the training aren’t exactly low-cost. Remember that you will be taught how to fly so these schools must have state-of-the-art equipment to simulate the flying experience as close to the actual thing as possible. Of course, there will also be times that you will be working on the real thing and that entails costly expenditures.

Pilot training doesn’t come cheap but it’s an investment that will bear fruits in the long run so might as well put your money where it will count the most.

For the past few years, there is a group of agents in Malaysia that take students to overseas to undergo flight training at cheap rates. Most commonly in nearby countries, the fees range from RM 250-300k, Way cheaper than flying license in Malaysia.

By this, the students who go to him, are attracted by the sweet promises. You should first understand that in Malaysia FAA is not approved but only EASA. If you do an FAA license & when you come you still have to spend another 150k to do the conversion. The conversion is called abridge course.  Some of the schools are not AFTO’s so make sure to do a web search before registering. Their rates are usually in USD.

You can usually meet them at Education Fairs in a Small Booth. Please roast them if you have ever met them. Ask as many questions until they give up. They would say better do it abroad rather than doing in Malaysia. If you are really passionate follow my advice, not theirs. But most of them don’t know that its almost impossible to convert to Malaysian license and the hidden course behind it.

So let me explain to you what is FAA & EASA, there are more bodies that regulate international waters such as

Federal Aviation Administration – FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters.


European Aviation Safety Agency – EASA

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency or EASA is an agency of the European Union with responsibility for civil aviation safety. It carries out certification, regulation, and standardization, and also performs investigation and monitoring.


So let’s focus on cadets who obtained a foreign pilot license with flying hours of less than 500, If you wish to obtain 500 hrs thats a different story and it would cost you more.


CAAM has an existing policy for converting foreign (ICAO contracting states) professional license (ATPL & CPL) to Malaysian Licence as contained in AIC 4/95.
The conversion is only acceptable when the candidate has met the minimum academic qualification which is 5 credits at SPM level or equivalent inclusive of credit
in Mathematics, English and Sciences subjects.

  • Letter of approval from the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation.
  • Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) / ‘O’ Levels, or it’s equivalent a minimum of five (5) credits including English, Mathematics and a Science subject.
  • Minimum age of seventeen (17) years.
  • Successful medical examination Class I with a requisite certificate from DCA approved medical examiner.
  • Adequate competence in the English Language.

This AIC stipulates that an applicant has a total flying experience of fewer than 500 hours in civil registered airplane wishing to convert his/her license to
Malaysian CPL with IR shall attend an abridged flying course. The course has to be done by any Malaysian Approved Flying Training Organization (AFTO). The abridge course shall include the following:-

  1. Pass theoretical knowledge examination (ATPL level) of the following subjects.

Principles of Flight, Aircraft & Systems (Power plant, Electronics and Airframe & Systems), Communication.

Link: HMA | Ground School Training-Phase 1 Review, Tips + Notes

Mass & Balance, Performance, Human Performance & Limitations, Instrumentation, Meteorology.

Link:HMA | Ground School Training -Phase 2 Review, Tips + Notes

Air Law (CAAM), Operation, Flight Planning, General Navigation, Radio Navigation.

Link: HMA | Ground School Training – Phase 3 Review, Tips + Notes

2. Passes Airlaw 1 & 2

3. Pass type technical of appropriate aircraft class or category.

4. Minimum of 35 hours flying time on a Multi-Engine aircraft

5. Meeting the CPL/IR breakdown of 100 hours PIC of which up to 30 hours maximum may be as pilot acting as PIC under supervision (P1 US), 20 hours (PIC) on cross country navigation, 10 hours night flying of which 5 hours must be as PIC, and any other requirements as deemed necessary.  Total flying experience must not be less than 200 hours

6. Pass an Assessment flight test (GFT/IR) by DCA Examiner

You may choose any flying school (AFTO) in Malaysia provided you make a thorough research on the capability and capacity of the AFTO before you decide which one to enroll in. Proper selection will determine to a certain degree your success in this course.






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Benny Koay February 12, 2020 - 1:38 pm

You are really good in doing your website and I am impressed. Good job and keep it up!

Visnu February 12, 2020 - 1:40 pm


aztec April 27, 2020 - 10:47 am


I would strongly disagree about the negative perception on taking the flight training abroad. I agree though with the ‘agents’ not doing the right things when they promote a school as It depends on the school they promote. I took my training in Philippines and Im currently attached to an airline in the same country i took my training. It really is how the students themselves make a mark during their training and their diligence in looking for a job after. You do not have to go back to Malaysia immediately after you graduate but build up your experience initially in many ways.

Visnu April 27, 2020 - 4:44 pm

I agree with you that you will be able to get a work with one of the local airlines. But the chances of getting thru most probably 1/10? The question is why the agents promise this cadets that they will be able to get a job once they graduate without undergoing abridge course and work in malaysia. So I am not against your point. But just the purpose of licensing is different. To work in malaysia or to work overseas.

Zahaimi October 3, 2021 - 4:12 am

Hope you can explain whats required if one has foreign CPL/IR with more than 500 flying hours…what abrudge course required and length to complete it…thanks

Visnu October 3, 2021 - 12:48 pm

Most likely the process is the same
Where you have to sit theoritical papers and fly multi engine hours
But for a better answer
Pls contact CAAM

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