Are there different types of licenses?
Yes. In aviation, pilots receive certificates and ratings rather than "licenses". Ratings (seaplane, glider, multi-engine, and instrument) may be added to various certificates as pilots choose their aviation paths. The certificates are as follows:
- Recreational - The best choice for those who wish to fly from their home airports, this certificate limits pilots to daytime flight only. In addition, recreational pilots may not carry more than one passenger. With additional instruction, however, some of these limitations may be removed, including being able to fly to other airports
- Casa Recreational Pilot Licence - Obtained once you have completed R.A.Aus recreational certificate. Day flight only, limited to 1500kg MTOW (e.g. C182RG) Non turbine powered. Controlled airspace, MPPC & Retractable undercarriage available.
- Private - This certificate is the best option for pilots who wish to go to other airports around the country, fly for business, fly at night, or carry more than one passenger. Private pilots may share flight-related expenses with their passengers, but may not be compensated or paid for flying people to different destinations.
- Instrument - The instrument rating enables a pilot to fly under instrument flying rules (IFR) conditions. Pilots holding an instrument rating are qualified to use all the aircraft's avionics to arrive at or depart from airfields inaccessible to the visual flight rules-dependent commercial, private pilot. The rating is essential for professional advancement. More importantly, it means greater safety in flying.
- Commercial - Commercial pilots can legally fly for hire and are required to meet higher training standards than private or recreational pilots.
- Flight Instructor - Flight instructors are pilots who have been trained and can demonstrate various teaching techniques, skills, and knowledge related to safely teaching people to fly.
Air Transport Pilot License - Typically qualify to fly the major airliners of Australia. ATPLs must qualify with a range of experience and training to be considered for this certificate.