All over the world, aviation is considered one of the most prestigious careers and entails intense training and is offered only in specialised institutions.
In Kenya, attaining a pilot licence requires the interested person to attend special schools where they are taught the craft of flying. According to data from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), there are only 24 institutions in the country that are authorised to offer aviation courses.
A spot check by Kenyans.co.ke revealed that various schools offer their courses for a period of four to six months with the fee ranging from Ksh630,000 to Ksh2.8 million.
The prices mainly cover flying hours, course work and pilot kits which include the uniform.
Additionally, the prices charged vary depending on the type of licencing one wishes to acquire.
The majority of the aviation schools in the country offer Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) courses. Across the aviation schools, commercial licensing is charged more as compared to private licensing.
For instance, Flight Training Centre based at Wilson Airport offers the commercial package at a cost of Ksh2,809,000 while the private licensing course goes for Ksh840,000.
However, the prices could go high as students taking aviation courses in the country are forced to part with more money as a majority of the schools require them to buy various course books.
In order to qualify for the aviation classes, students are required to be proficient in languages and communication. Additionally, some of the schools require the students to have completed their secondary school education and be of at least 17 years of age.
Upon completion of the course, students are examined by officials accredited by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) before being given permission to fly.
"Before being awarded PPL licence, you must complete a flying course under the supervision of a qualified Flying Instructor. This must include a minimum of 40 hours of flying, of which at least 15 hours must be solo, and at least 5 hours of the solo must be cross-country flying.
"You must pass practical and theory examinations radio. Sit the ICAO English proficiency test," Pegasus Flyers states on its website.
Some of theories examined include Navigation, AirLaw, Human Performance, and Aircraft Performance Meteorology among others.
Kenyan aviation students take their lessons using the Cessna 152 aircraft which is globally used for training learners all over the world. Other models used for training include the Cessna 172.