FAA Licensing and Employment Requirements


Read, Write, Speak and Understand English – ICAO Level 4 (see FAA Advisory Circular 60-28B or ICAO Doc 9835).  TOEFL is not an appropriate instrument for determining English proficiency for aviation uses.  An IELTS score 6.5 or greater is generally indicative of sufficient communicative ability AND the literacy skills necessary for aviation academic preparation.

Have no final convictions for the violation of any Federal or State statute relating to the growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances within one year; not have refused to submit to a test to indicate the percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood, when requested by a law enforcement officer.

TSA will conduct a threat assessment and background check before license issuance.

Aircraft pilots and Air Traffic Controllers have specific medical requirements. Some pre-existing conditions may be disqualifying. (Aircraft Dispatchers and currently, Remote Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems pilots, do not require medical certificates).

Professional Pilots, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Air Traffic Controllers are deemed to be safety sensitive positions by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Employment is generally contingent on successful completion of a 10-year background check and participation in a pre-hiring and continuous random drug and alcohol testing program.

For more information, please visit https://www.faa.gov/ .