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What are the advantages/ disadvantages of FAA vs EASA ATPL's, and does this translate into the real world with airlines preferring one training standard over the other? As a trainee pilot, it's pretty confusing looking at the array of courses offered around the world, with huge number of flight schools all advertising ATPL courses under different jurisdictions.

Any insight, experience would be very helpful.

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    $\begingroup$ Where do you want to work is an important question. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Mar 6, 2017 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a car license? Which car license did you apply for? The FAA license will work in USA, the EASA license will work in Europe. $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2017 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ Where you have the ability to legally work is a critical component to consider too. $\endgroup$
    – slookabill
    Mar 6, 2017 at 16:52

2 Answers 2

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Both the EASA and FAA ATPL programs are good, I know people who have both and their view is that neither has an intrinsic benefit over the other. The EASA one has more theory in it which most of the ATPLs I know think is worthless, however if you know how to study it's really not that bad.

The question of which is best for you is who you want to fly for and where their airplanes are registered, as it's the country of registration which defines which ATPL you need, not the location the airplane is in. An FAA ATPL will let you fly US registered (N Register) airplanes anywhere in the world, and an EASA one will let you fly an EASA member's airplane, so most of Europe anywhere in the world. If you want to fly for a US airline you need an FAA one, if you want to fly for a european airline you need an EASA one.

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@Ggd's answer is already good, but keep in mind that it's much easier to validate a EASA license to fly N registered airplanes than the other way around. Validating a FAA license in Europe is a bureaucratic act and needs huge effort to do.

Also remember that, even as you can use your FAA license in Europe if it's validated, the rules are pretty different to those in USA so if you already know that you will fly in europe most of your time I would suggest a EASA license.

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