Do I need a PPL before ATP

I am finishing my associates degree in December and I was wondering if I needed to get my Private pilot before I start ATP. Will not having it affect my chances of being accepted?


ATP requires one of the following for admission:

That however does not guarantee acceptance. Every admission is scored on a case by case basis. Having your PPL may make it easier, but it’s not just having your PPL, you also need at least 78hrs of flight time.

I suggest you contact ATP admin and have a conversation. They can tell you where you stand.



The admissions process is aimed to identify whether or not your previous experience will be enough to equip you for successful completion of the program. Having a PPL is nice because it already shows you have a basic aptitude for aviation, however, most students start the program zero time. We only really recommend getting your private outside of ATP if you are testing the waters to see if it’s really a career you want to commit to.

If I were you, I’d apply exactly where you are right now and see how it goes. If you have an issues, then you can consider what you can do to increase your chances of getting admitted.



The only reason we recommend acquiring the PPL outside of ATP is because you’re unsure if this career is fit for you. If your goal is to get your ratings, build time, and one day fly cargo/passengers, what’s a better route? The admissions process is very heightened right now due to the influx of those looking to take the leap, the team works diligently to ensure the right student is selected for the program - because the program isn’t for everyone. As long as you met the prerequisites for ATP, you should not have a problem, unless there is an underlying issue:


I’d also check your local ATP if that’s where you want to go and attend. When I started this process of 0-1500 and living in Oregon, the ATP near me informed me that for both Oregon and Seattle, WA schools I would need my private pilot license before attending. Weather is lot less predictable and can cause delays. Luckily, my wife and I had discussed moving out of Oregon for years so it all worked out and we’re headed to Arizona.