Frozen ATPL

What’s required for a Frozen ATPL?? I see a lot of European carriers starting to offer programs for pilots with around 250 hours. Is it possible to get a Frozen ATPL during college while studying aviation??


The reason you see many European carriers looking for a “frozen ATPL” is because a “frozen ATPL” is only used in Europe. The “frozen ATPL” means the pilot has completed the 14 exams required for an ATPL but has not satisfied the flight time requirements. Since here in the US you cannot take the ATP exam UNTIL you satisfy the flight time requirements we have no equivalent. You can definitely get your Frozen ATPL in college, you just have to go to college in Europe. Again there are no short cuts.

Btw, in addition to the Frozen ATPL you also have to obtain a European work permit which can be extremely difficult to get.


What makes the work permit difficult to get (just out of curiosity) El Capitan?



I’m really no authority but from what I’ve been told the EU is VERY protective of their jobs and them going to non-citizens. They make it incumbent on the employer (airline) to acquire the work permit and must demonstrate why they need the individuals skills or talents. A few years ago when I was at Xjt and things had taken a negative turn (furloughs and downgrades) our union was reaching out to various sources to try and place some of our pilots on temporary contracts. There was an airline in England that was transitioning their fleet and needed Type rated EMB145 Capts for 6 mos which we had plenty of. Unfortunately the airline was unable to obtain any work permits for any pilots other than a handful we had who were from EU countries. I’ve heard similar stories from others.


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The irony here being that these are some of the same countries who complain loud and hard whenever the US implements any kind of immigration controls.


@Adam, oh ok. @Chris, I totally understand where you’re coming from