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Commercial Pilot Certificate is a qualification that permits the holder to act as the pilot of an aircraft for hire.

The basic requirements to obtain the certificate and the privileges it confers are agreed internationally by International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, however the actual implementation varies quite widely from country to country. According to ICAO, to be eligible for a Commercial Pilot Certificate, the applicant must already hold a Private Pilot certificate, have received training in the areas of a Commercial Pilot, and successfully complete a written exam. Upon completing those prerequisites the applicant will then receive an exam from the governing aviation body that consists of an Oral and Practical flight test from an Examiner.

Different types of Commercial Pilot Certificates/Licenses are issued for the major categories of aircraft: Airplanes, helicopters, gyro-planes, balloons, and airships.

A Certificate/License will contain a number of sub-qualifications or ratings. These specify in more detail the actual privileges of the license, including the types of aircraft that can be flown, whether flight under Instrument Flight Rules is allowed, and whether instructing and examining of trainee pilots can be done.

Commercial aviation is the part of civil aviation (both general aviation and scheduled airline service) that involves operating aircraft for hire to transport passengers or cargo. In most countries, a flight may be operated for money only if it meets three criteria:

  1. the pilot must hold a valid commercial pilot's certificate
  2. the aircraft must hold a valid commercial registration
  3. the operator must hold a certificate or some other authorization for commercial operations
There are some exceptions for example, a flight instructor is normally allowed to fly for money in a private aircraft owned by the student but the above requirements hold for most flights where money changes hands.

Typically, a commercial certificate or registration requires higher standards than a private one. For example, a commercial pilot may have to demonstrate more maneuvers to a higher standard, and may need to pass more frequent medical examinations. A commercially-registered plane may require more frequent or more extensive maintenance.

It is the purpose of the flight, not the type of aircraft or pilot, that determines whether the flight is commercial. For example, a two-seat Cessna 150 towing a banner for money would be a commercial flight, while a large jet flown by its owners for a private vacation would not be, even if the pilots were commercially certificated and the jet were commercially registered.
Designed By: DJ