20 Best Flight Schools in Ireland-Cost & Programs

Ireland is home to many flight schools, offering students the opportunity to learn how to fly.

If you are the adventurous type, then you might want to consider becoming a pilot. Sure, it will take work and dedication, but it’s a career path that has several benefits. And you don’t have to go far to get started.

Ireland has a unique, rich history, and it’s one of the best places in the world to learn how to fly. There are some incredible flight schools in Ireland that will give you the training you need to become a licensed pilot.

Is Attending a Flight School in Ireland a Good Idea?

The aviation industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world.

Ireland is the world’s 40th-largest aviation market and the 15th-largest in Europe. Comparatively, its population position is 121 in the world and 25 in Europe.

If you’re interested in an aviation career, there’s no better place to do it than Ireland. The instructors are fantastic, the atmosphere is great, and the quality of the flight training is top-notch.

Location of flight schools in Ireland

There are three main locations where flight schools are located in Ireland. These are Dublin, Cork, and Galway.

Each city offers its unique advantages and disadvantages.

1. Dublin – Dublin is the largest city in Ireland and is home to over 1 million people. Because of this, there are plenty of opportunities for employment in Dublin.

However, the city does have a high population density, meaning that there may be less space than what would be ideal for a student.

2. Cork – Cork is the second largest city in Ireland and has a population of around 500,000 people.

Like Dublin, Cork has a high population density, making it difficult to find open spaces for students to practice their skills.

3. Galway – Galway is the smallest city in Ireland and has only about 60,000 residents. This means that there is ample room for practicing your flying skills.

However, the city is spread out and requires some driving to get to different parts of town.

Cost of flying lessons

The cost of flying lessons varies depending on where you live in Ireland.

Flying schools in Dublin are the cheapest area to take flying lessons. Flying lessons In Dublin cost between EUR 100 – EUR 150 per hour. Outside of Dublin, prices increase significantly.

Costs in Cork range from EUR 200 – EUR 300 per hour, while in Galway, the price ranges from EUR 400 – EUR 500 per hour.

Prices do not vary much outside of these cities.

Best Flight Schools in Ireland

Every year, thousands of students travel to Ireland to learn to fly. This is a great choice for anyone who loves flying and wishes to make a living as a pilot.

But with so many flight schools in Ireland, how do you know which one is best for you? We’ve researched for you, and here are the top 10 flight schools in Ireland.

1. Atlantic Flight Training Academy

Atlantic Flight Training Academy is recorded by Europe as the leading independent Flight Training Organization for Aviation Personnel.

The school has given more than 500 in-house trained commercial pilots to airlines worldwide since its establishment of the school in 1995. The school offers a modern, fully equipped fleet of 10 aircraft, 32 instructors, and a cutting-edge simulator.

The school is approved by the European Joint Aviation Authorities. It is located at Cork International Airport which is known as Europe’s top training airport and has every imaginable flight training aid accessible.

Programs Offered include:

  • Private Pilot (PPL)

  • Commercial Pilot (CPL)

  • Flight Instructor (CFI / FI)

  • Airline Transport Pilot (ATPL)

  • EASA ATPL Ground School

  • EASA ATPL Integrated Course

  • Night Rating

  • Instrument Rating (IR)

  • Flight Instructor – Instrument

  • Multi-Engine (Class Rating)

  • Flight Instructor – Multi-Engine (MEI)

  • Aerobatics

  • Tailwheel

  • Staff Examiner(s)

  • CBT Training

  • Ground School Classes

2. National Flight Center

National Flight Centre is regarded as the top flight training organization in Ireland. The school is located at Weston Airport, Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

The school offers training with a fleet of Cessna 172’s, Cessna 150/152s, a Beech 76 Duchess, and a Piper Cub.

The school is Ireland’s largest and top fixed-wing flight training facility, and for more than 25 years, they have successfully trained pilots to fly both for pleasure and for a living at incredibly affordable prices.

All of the flight instructors at the National Flight Center have professional pilot licenses and are JAA-licensed and these instructors impart a wealth of information to students pursuing a professional career in aviation through their professional courses.

Programs Offered include:

  • Private Pilot (PPL)

  • Commercial Pilot (CPL)

  • Flight Instructor (CFI / FI)

  • Airline Transport Pilot (ATPL)

  • Night Rating

  • Multi-Crew Cooperation Course (MCC)

  • Instrument Rating (IR)

  • Flight Instructor – Instrument

  • Multi-Engine (Class Rating)

  • Seaplane Rating

  • Tailwheel

  • Ground School Classes  

3. Airline Flight Academy

A brand-new training center located in Santry, Dublin, Ireland, houses the Airline Flight Academy, a new business that will provide outsourced sim & flying services to European Airlines. 

Airline Flight Academy is a professional aviation training center. The most advanced A320 and B737 Max simulators are what the school have purchased to give its students the best possible training.

Programs Offered include:

  • Multi Crew Cooperation (APS MCC) course

  • Commercial Pilot License

  • Jet Orientation Course

  • Airbus A320 Type Rating Course

  • Boeing 737 MAX type rating

  • Combined APS MCC & Advanced UPRT

4. Waterford Aero Club

In order to foster a greater interest in recreational aviation, the Waterford Aero Club was established in 1982. The school uses its three Cessna 172 aircraft, to specialize in providing training for Private Pilots and Flight Instructors.

Consider nothing less than a flight experience with Waterford Aero Club whether you want to learn to fly or if you want to offer someone a unique and exciting gift.

Programs Offered include:

  • Flight Experiences

  • Light Aircraft Pilot Licence

  • Private Pilot Licence

  • Night Rating

  • Hour Building

  • Class Rating Instructor

  • Flight Instructor Certificate

5. C-More Flying School

Have you ever wished you could fly over everything like a bird? Freedom from having to work every day. We often have dreams about flying. The C-More Flying School can help you realize your goal.

The school is welcoming you to take a free trial lesson flight in their Ikarus C42 Microlight with one of the school’s highly trained instructors.

Programs Offered include:

  • E-Voucher Trial Flying Lesson Experience

  • 15-Minute Trial Flying Lesson Experience

  • 30-Minute Trial Flying Lesson Experience

  • 45-Minute Trial Flying Lesson Experience

  • 60-Minute Trial Flying Lesson Experience

The school also provides instruction for the NPPL (M) pilots license for those who really want to advance.

6. ASG Aviation Training

ASG Aviation Training is a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Approved Training organization and they offer a variety of approved courses.

ASG offers training services of the highest caliber. They can offer the training you need, whether you’re a manager who wants to comprehend risk and safety management or whether you want to set up professional development training for your personnel.

Aeronautical engineers, flight procedure designers, air traffic controllers, and airline pilots are just a few of the professionals who serve as the school’s lecturers and instructors.

  • Airline Transport Pilot Licence  (ATPL)

  • Private Pilot License

  • Management and CPD courses

  • Air Traffic Controller training

  • Flight crew

7. Limerick Flying Club

Limerick Flying Club is a Declared Training Organization (DTO) situated in Ireland’s Limerick region at Coonagh Airfield (EICN).

The Limerick Flying Club offers a professional yet social setting for people to learn to fly and keep up their proficiency.

The school believes that learning to fly is simple; all you need is dedication and lots of passion and you will quickly master the material if you choose to keep practicing.

Programs Offered include:

  • Introductory Flight

  • Private Pilot Licence

  • Flight Training

  • Theoretical Knowledge (Ground School)

8. Simtech Aviation

Simtech Aviation is a world-class professional aviation training center. 

Simtech Aviation, an ATO, collaborates closely with over fifteen different airlines and three main types of aircraft: Boeing, Airbus, and ATR. 

Simtech Aviation is a recognized European leader in the EASA-required APS/MCC and MCC/JOC courses as a training provider for aspiring commercial pilots. In addition to providing “wet” and “dry” training on their simulator fleet, the school also holds type-rating courses.

Simtech Aviation’s instructors are what set the school apart from the competition. When it comes to preparing the next generation of pilots, their experience working with the top airlines in the world has proven to be priceless. 

In addition to their extensive expertise, their flight instructors also possess one or more of the following credentials and titles: Training Captain, MCCi, TRE, (previously) “Chief Airline Pilot”, and TRI with their respective airlines.

Programs Offered include:

  • Jet Orientation (JO) Course

  • Multi Crew Cooperation and JO combined course.

  • Airline Pilot Standards (APS)

  • ATR 72-600 Type Rating Course

  • Airbus A320 Type Rating Course

9. UPiLOT Flight Simulator Centre

A unique look into the world of commercial flying outside the cockpit is provided by the UPiLOT Experience. You can now enjoy the exhilaration of flying in a jet aircraft!

Take the co-seat pilot and your flight teacher will sit in the captain’s seat. They will help you during the flight and give you an experience you won’t soon forget.

The school offers outstanding and fun flight experiences to its students.

Programs Offered include:

  • Airline Assessment Preparation Course

  • B737-800 type Flight Simulator

10. Air Academy Ireland Aviation School

Air Academy Ireland Aviation School is an Irish-based provider of aviation training dedicated to providing top-notch programs to anyone seeking to launch or advance their careers in the industry. 

They provide a variety of training programs that are intended to support excellent learning and a successful career in aviation.

Programs Offered include:

  • Cabin Crew Initial Training and Attestation (CCA)

  • Airplane Fundamentals

  • Aerospace Engineering

  • ATPL(A) Integrated Pilot Programme

  • Wings Course

Other Flight Schools in Ireland include:

Funfly Aerosports Flying ClubVisit School
Ormand Flying ClubVisit School
Dublin Gliding ClubVisit School
Ultimate ThrillsVisit School
Recreational Flying ClubVisit School
Fear of Flying IrelandVisit School
Skyline Flying ClubVisit School
Ulster Flying ClubVisit School
Safe Drone AcademyVisit School
FlyRyte Drone AcademyVisit School

Helicopter Pilot Training in Ireland

Helicopters are versatile aircraft that are commonly used for aerial photography, surveying, firefighting, law enforcement, and other purposes. They are also used for recreational activities such as sightseeing and paragliding.

Helicopter pilots require extensive training before they are allowed to fly solo. The training involves learning how to operate the craft, flying skills, and emergency procedures.

There are various Helicopter Training Schools in Ireland and some of them include:

  • The Irish Student
  • HeliFlite Aviation
  • National Flight Center
  • Eirecopter Helicopters Ltd
  • Blue Star Helicopters
  • Ocean Helicopters Ltd

Cost of Helicopter Pilot Training in Ireland

The typical length of a helicopter pilot training course, which is full-time, is 12 months.

It includes at least 135 hours of flight time in addition to theoretical instruction.

A flight skills test is one of nine exams that students must pass. Both the integrated and modular courses cost about EUR 85,000.


How Long Does It Take to Become a Pilot?

There are different pilot licenses one can earn in a flight school and how long it takes to earn a particular certificate depends on the program.

Typically, becoming a pilot and obtaining your private pilot license, it takes about two months.

However, it takes about two years to gain the necessary 1,500 hours of flight time to become an airline pilot.

How Much Do Pilots Earn in Ireland?

Just like any other profession, the salary of pilots in Ireland is dependent on their level of experience.

However, Ireland’s national average pilot salary is EUR 21,000 per year or EUR 10.77 per hour.

Most experienced workers can earn up to EUR 47,671 each year, while entry-level pilots start at EUR 17,438 per year.

How Much Does It Cost to Be a Helicopter Pilot?

The Private Pilot Certificate and up to $28,000 for a Commercial Pilot Certificate are the costs to become a helicopter pilot.

If you are looking to earn a comprehensive professional training program that includes a Flight Instructor Certificate, plus any associated lodging, food, and travel fees, you should expect to pay about $85,000.


Ireland is a thriving place where you can find a lot of opportunities in the aviation industry. In addition to this, it’s also considerably affordable. Therefore, it’s the perfect city for you to attend a flight school.

In this article, we’ve outlined the best 20 flight schools in Ireland which can help you narrow your options and select the best that’s suitable for you.

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