What is a Frozen ATPL?

A frozen atpl is a pilot who has has passed all of their exams but has not yet flown the minimum hours of 1500

In order to become a commercial pilot, students must complete a qualification called an Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL). This qualification consists of practical flying and theoretical study, either integrated at a flight school or modular, with exams to test each subject. After finishing the ATPL theory, the licence may be considered a frozen ATPL.

1500 hours of flight hours and a pass rate of 75% in each ATPL exam is required to gain an ATPL.

If a student has passed all of their theoretical exams but has not yet flown the minimum hours of 1500, then their licence is considered ‘frozen’ or inactive.


How to ‘un-freeze’ a frozen ATPL?

To be issued with an EASA or UK CAA ATPL, you will need 1500 hours flight time to include the following,

  • 500 hrs flown as a multi-pilot in transport or commuter aircraft
  • 250 hrs flown as a Pilot in Command (PIC) (or 100 PIC and 180 PIC under supervision)
  • 200 hrs flown on cross country flights (100 as Pilot in Command)
  • 75 hrs instrument flight time
  • 100 hrs night flight as pilot in command or as a co-pilot


Take your next step towards becoming a pilot.

Students from all over the world choose Bristol Groundschool for modular pilot training. You can learn at your own pace and track your progress effortlessly with our extensive and innovative learning materials.

With the option for online-only tuition, you can choose to fit your studies around existing commitments too – no matter where you are in the world. We turn today’s students into tomorrow’s pilots. And we can do the same for you.

Find out more about our modular ATPL and CPL training courses by clicking the buttons below.

ATPL (a)    ATPL (H)/IR    CPL (A)    CPL (H)


Download our Free Ebook: The Essential ATPL Student Guide to Studying and Passing your Exams

Starting your ATPL theory soon?

Check out our new ebook on how to study and pass your ATPL exams. Discover what you’ll need to know about ATPL theory including:

  • What each ATPL exam includes
  • What to expect from each ATPL subject
  • Choosing the right ground school for you
  • How to study your ATPL theory
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Tips leading up to exam day