In this post «Top considerations to become a pilot as a Sweden citizen», you will learn several essential aspects to consider if:
- you are planning to pursue a pilot career; and
- you are a Sweden citizen.
If you are a Swedish citizen, considering pursuing a career in aviation and starting your pilot training, you are more privileged than other countries. It is possible to apply for a loan through CSN, the Swedish Board of Student Finance or Centrala Studiestödsnämnden.
An important notice to consider is the student loan is applicable for student pilots based at home ground and those planning on studying abroad within the European Union, as long as the educational institution is approved by the CSN.
The allowance includes a unique instalment to support education fees, along with monthly instalments for your living expenses such as accommodation, travel and other expenses.
The total amount received may vary, so please contact CSN to see if you are eligible for the full allowance at https://www.csn.se/.
Quality fly is a well-recognized training institution accepted by CSN, and its ATPL integrated programme is fully eligible for the CSN loan.
The cost of pursuing a career in aviation will vary substantially depending on the location of the training academy.
A prestigious aviation academy offering an integrated ATPL, along with a modern fleet and APS MCC will cost approximately 975,000 SEK or 95,000 EUR.
Meanwhile, the same training programme received in a reputable academy at Quality Fly will cost between 60,000 to 70,000 EUR.
- Wages: One important reason why the prices vary significantly between the two countries is due to the standard of living and the average monthly salaries. Statistically average salaries in Sweden are 4,156 EUR/month, while in Spain the average salary is 2,278 EUR/month. This means the labour and services provided will be more expensive in Sweden in contrast to Spain. Consequently, flight training results more expensive.
- Weather: A major influencing factor is weather, this means both the aircraft and instructors can fly more frequently and build more hours within the month, implying that the salaries and amortization costs divide sometimes among double the hours thus resulting in half the costs.
- Taxes: Finally, another important factor is due to operating costs, taxes of airports and cost of fuel strikingly high in Sweden. Whereas the cost of fuel in Spain is marginally close to the standard car fuel.
If you wish to become a pilot as a Sweden or EU citizen, selecting the right school is more important than selecting a specific country.
In other words, there are excellent flight training institutions in a few countries within the EU. In any case, there are factors you might want to consider when choosing a country:
- Weather: Southern Europe presents the best conditions in Europe to fly with an excellent combination of sunny days and moderate temperatures. Such good weather implies a higher continuity of your training which is an essential factor to achieve the highest acquisition of skills and habits, and it’s also a factor that makes the training cost cheaper. It is important that not all areas within the south of Europe have the same weather, with mountain areas presenting a higher level of rain and some areas presenting excessive heat in summer. In order to compare the weather in different cities, you can do it here.
- Cost of living: The cost of living varies a lot in countries such as Spain or Italy when compared to countries in the north of Europe, as already covered. This cost of living translates into a higher cost of the training as well as the cost of living during the training period.
- Regulation: All European Approved Training Organization ATOs require yearly audits by the national competent authority depending on EASA, European Aviation Safety Agency. However, not all countries require the very same level of exigence. Spanish AESA presents a track record of a high level of exigence, in particular for complex schools, those that offer ATPL Integrated programs.
- International City: The spirit of the City can be an important factor. An international city might offer more services in English and a more multicultural and diverse place in which to enjoy the free time you’ll have after your training.
In general terms, the Integrated route is the common choice for candidates that have the means and time to pursue the training with lesser restrictions. These programs are as well-chosen by default by airlines for their recruiting collaborations.
The integrated programs are far more demanding from a regulatory point of view, therefore there are fewer schools offering such programs and they must have a high level of quality that not all modular schools can offer, and are often smaller.
The modular route is often selected by candidates who must combine work and pilot training.
You can read a more detailed explanation of the differences between modular and integrated ATPL training here.
- Licence: First, you must consider which licence you wish to obtain. As a European Citizen, regardless of whether you want to work as a pilot in Sweden, in the EU or in other countries, your best option will be to get a European Aviation Safety Agency licence (EASA) in an Approved Training Organisation, EASA ATO. There are a large number of schools in Europe, and we recommend you research carefully all the options to best suit your training.
- Safety: Safety and operating procedures. Do consider safety, since unfortunately not all maintenance centres work with the highest level of exigence. Quality Fly takes safety to the highest standard, up to being one of the few schools in Europe that completes the night flight with the Multi-Engine Piston Aircraft.
- Language: While many schools offer training in English, make sure you look for a 100% English institution where all training is done in English.
- Fleet: A modern fleet allows for better learning and habits with a modern glass cockpit, together with increased safety and reliability, and they are more environmentally friendly.
- APS MCC: While ATPL can be completed with a standard MCC, the industry is moving towards the APS MCC, which implies a 40h course instead of 20h of a regular MCC, which means double the time in this part of the training, the most critical one to prepare for an airline.
- Simulators: In case you can access FFS Level D simulators for the APS MCC, it is an important contribution to real and effective learning in the last phases of the course. The most renowned training programs use increasingly FFS Level D in their APS MCC part of the course.
- International environment: It is not only more welcoming but more enriching to be one more among a multicultural environment rather than being the only foreigner among 90% of local students.
- Level of exigence: Some schools might accept your admission provided you have the money. That is NOT rigorous. The pilot training requires a certain base and capacities and it is important such capacities are assessed professionally before you are billed an important booking fee. Ask for the % of approvals in their exams. Ask as well for the % of employability of cadets, which also correlates as obvious with the admission exigence.
- Syllabus and training quality: UPRT, PBN, KSA 100, ICAO Core competencies have become progressively common as it is a request by the regulatory bodies. However, we encourage you to take the test and ask what are these terms and how are they taught when visiting potential schools. You’ll experience the standard of the school and its dedication to high-quality training. Strict adherence to the training program, high experience instructors and a culture that prioritizes quality vs speed of hour completion are critical factors.
Additional training or services: Some schools offer complimentary training options such as tuition reinforcement classes, unlimited access to controlled training simulators, career advice sessions or even gliding training practice. All these complementary elements can make a huge difference between poor or average training and achieving your highest possible skill level, including technical and soft skills, as well as preparation for all areas of the airline interview.
If you are determined to become a pilot as a Sweden citizen, you may also be interested in other general information on how to choose your flight school. For other general questions about requirements, the minimum age to start, insurance… you can read our FAQ.