While the objective of integrated and modular training is the same, there are distinct differences and advantages to each path to becoming a pilot. Airbus A320 pilot and CAE instructor, William Khalil, speaks on what you should consider before embarking on your pilot training journey.
In addition to being an instructor at CAE, William is part of a team within the company developed to prepare cadets for airline interviews. His role includes interview workshops, group assessment and technical interviews to make sure that all students have the right tools and knowledge to do well in their first airline interview.
So, if you want to be an airline pilot, the first thing you need to do is to get a Class 1 medical. Once you have that, there are two main training routes: the integrated route and the modular route. Keep reading to understand the advantages of each type of training.
Integrated training is a full-time studying commitment, which takes a student from a zero-experience level to obtaining his or her pilot’s license and becoming ready to work with an airline.
With integrated training, the theory training is classroom or lecture-based and will take around 8 months. The theory is directly followed by the practical flight training syllabus, without interruption. The latter follows a well-structured and defined mission plan which will lead you all the way up to obtaining your commercial pilot license (CPL) with instrument rating (IR) and multi-engine rating (ME). You will start with the basics on a single-engine piston aircraft: how to take-off, how to land, how to fly visually, how to navigate with reference to the ground, etc. You will then progress in the syllabus lesson plan and learn to fly on multi-engine aircraft with the cockpit’s instruments as sole reference (instrument flying).
The main advantage of integrated training is that a cadet enters an intense course of study within a dedicated and well-equipped training facility surrounded by like-minded students who are all training at the same pace.
Modular training gives you the same license as integrated training but gives you more flexibility on how to achieve it. You can choose between training providers and the rate at which you progress (part-time or full-time training) and almost everything can be customized to fit your needs and preferences. While the structure of an integrated course is very rigid, within a modular course there is room to move around the order of some training elements.
The modular route refers to training at an equally high standard to that offered on an integrated course, with the exception that you go at your own pace and your own rhythm. The big difference is that the study doesn’t necessarily take place as a full-time study option or over a set period of time. The training can therefore be done module-by-module, as time and money allow.
Many cadets choose to complete the modules consecutively, completing all their training in the same period as an integrated course while others will take longer. What’s more, you can combine modular training with your work schedule as opposed to having to study full-time with integrated training.
Whether undertaking integrated training or modular training, you still leave with a pilot license. With integrated training, you do it in one academy so consistency is assured, and airlines can also recognize the quality of the curriculum. You get a single record that encompasses all stages of your flight training.
Although you can decide which academies to attend in the modular training route, it’s always a good idea to complete your entire curriculum in one single academy in order to get a consistent quality of training.
Different academies have different standards, so training under one single reputable academy will help prospective airlines get a better understanding of your training experience and qualifications. If you do each module in a different organization, you could decrease your chance of having a consistently high-quality education.
So, depending on your situation, one type of training might be better for you than the other. Modular training is great if you want to spread out your training and maybe continue working at the same time. However, the quicker you can complete your training, the quicker you can apply for roles within airlines and start working. In that case, integrated training could be your best route.
If you pick the modular route, do make sure to avoid completing each module in a different organization and choose training organizations that are reputable and known not only locally, but also internationally.
This article is based on the CAE Pilot Podcast Episode 11: Integrated or Modular? That’s the question when it comes to pilot training!
The CAEpilot podcast brings together aviation professionals to discuss life as a pilot, training and career advice. Listen and subscribe here.
welcome aboard the new airside
We took our community to the next level with an elevated look, innovative features, and new tools.