Do I need a license revalidation or a license renewal to keep current? In a time where most airlines have furloughed or made pilots take unpaid leave, what happens to our licenses? When do you renew a CPL or IR license and when do you revalidate it? Where can you do it?

In order to apply for a first officer position for an airline, you are required to hold a commercial pilot’s license with a current multi-engine instrument rating (IR).

If you don’t find a job within a year of completing your initial instrument rating, you will need to revalidate it in order to maintain your license currency and be eligible to apply for a job.​

Some airlines will allow you to apply if your licenses has lapsed and upon a successful application process will renew your license at the end of the LST, or LPC OPC.

So what’s the difference?


  • Your Instrument Rating is still current. 
  • It can be revalidated up to 3 months before expiry to extend the original expiry by 12 months. 
  • There is no requirement to complete extra training before the test. 
  • Each alternate IR may be completed in an approved simulator, which is considerably cheaper than an aircraft. 
  • You can choose which approaches you to want to fly and at what airfields, but require an RNAV and ILS along with a hold. Normally our instructors will tell you which airports and approaches to prepare for but if you have a preference you can request it. (Simulator database dependant)
  • You can choose your own examiner. Aviation Insider has a whole team of friendly TRE’s across 8 different aircraft types.


  • IR has expired. Expiry is more than 1 day beyond expiry date but less than 7 years beyond expiry. 
  • A ‘Course Completion Certificate’ is required to confirm what extra training has been completed before the IR test can proceed and the training is at the discretion of the ‘Head of Training’ from an ATO. 
  • You can choose which approaches you to want to fly and at what airfields, but require an RNAV and ILS along with a hold. 
  • You can choose your own examiner. 

If you do not have PBN privileges on your license then you will need to add them during your IR test. All of our examiners will be able to do this for you on the day of the test, it just requires an additional approach to be completed. The cheapest option is always to keep your IR current unless you have no plans to use your IR for >3years.

For more information visit our revalidations page here