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Theoretical Knowledge for the ATPL – A

What is an Airline Transport Pilot Licence?

Become a commercial airline pilot with ATPL (A) training and prepare for a career as professional aviator.

An ATPL is the highest licence a pilot can obtain and stands for Airline Transport Pilot Licence. It is the official qualification you’ll need in order to apply for an airline role, and to be the commander (Captain) of a commercial airliner.

To obtain an ATPL you must successfully complete an integrated (full time) or modular (step by step) pilot training programme at any EASA Approved Training Organisation (ATO). Whether you choose a modular or integrated course, you will undertake a combination of academic study and practical flight training.

What is ATPL theory?

The classroom element of pilot training is known as ‘ground school’, or ‘ground training.’ It’s the academic foundation of your future career. During ground school you will be taught the theoretical knowledge required for the EASA ATPL and will be tested in a series of exams on subjects such as Flight Planning, Aircraft General Knowledge, Radio Navigation and Air Law.

ATPL ground school is a challenging and vital part of becoming a pilot. Airlines recruit pilots who they believe will fit their organisation well, and will easily complete all phases of training. They look for pilots who can demonstrate an intelligent approach to flight operations and have the depth of knowledge needed to navigate unexpected challenges, so it’s extremely important to build a good base of theoretical knowledge during ATPL ground school.

The Padpilot approach to ground school is designed with your airline career in mind. Our books don’t just guide you through the knowledge required to pass the exams – we also help prepare you for airline training and your professional career.

Introducing Padpilot ATPL (A) Books

  • The most advanced, up to date textbooks for EASA ATPL (A) theory
  • 1st Edition books for the original syllabus
  • 2nd Edition books for the EASA 2020 syllabus
  • FREE introductory ‘Maths and Physics For Pilots’ book
  • Hundreds of downloads worldwide each month
  • Easy to read explanations
  • Interactive 3D models, animations and video explanations
  • Study aids included
  • Regular, free updates ensure you’re studying the most up to date content 
  • Extra Insights which explain how the theory applies to the aviation world.
  • Case studies throughout describe accidents which relate to the topic
  • Threat and Error Management (TEM) flags show common threats or errors associated with the topic
  • Learning Objective summary at the end of each chapter (2nd Ed)
  • Interactive quizzes for self testing at the end of each chapter (2nd Ed)
  • Suitable for modular and integrated student pilots
  • Download just one ATPL subject or the complete series
  • No previous knowledge required
  • Available to download direct and from partner schools 

Padpilot solutions for ATPL (A) ground school

For ATOs interested in using Padpilot materials, we can offer bespoke packages of interactive instructor and student resources, support documentation and learning management systems for ground schools of all sizes.

More than 100 ATOs worldwide now use Padpilot materials and thousands of our ebooks are downloaded direct from iTunes every month.

Our popular ATPL subject books are perfectly complemented by corresponding sets of classroom presentations for instructors, making ground school easy to organise and plan. We also offer a new and updated Learning Management System that makes tracking student progress and results effortless.


Padpilot partner benefits:

✓ The most advanced ATPL theory books

✓ Regular, free updates so material is always current

✓ Editable instructor presentations

✓ New PadpilotACE Learning Management System

✓ Course administration assistance

✓ Comprehensive technical support

✓ Unparalleled customer support


Whether you’re offering distance learning, full time or a hybrid ATPL ground school, we’ll work with you to create a package that suits you and your students, whatever the size of your organisation.

The Padpilot ATPL books are:

  • Air Law
  • Aircraft General Knowledge: Electrics
  • Aircraft General Knowledge: Engines
  • Aircraft General Knowledge: Airframes and Systems
  • Basic Instrumentation
  • Advanced Instrumentation
  • Mass and Balance
  • Flight Planning and Monitoring
  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • Meteorology
  • General Navigation
  • Radio Navigation
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles of Flight
  • Communications (IFR and VFR)
  • Aeroplane Performance

Download a free sample of any of our books here


Books in the ATPL (A) Course

Our ATPL(A) theory books are available in two different editions:

The new 2nd Edition for the EASA 2020 syllabus with updated content and new features (pictured top)

The original 1st Edition for the old/current theoretical knowledge syllabus, expires June 2022 (pictured bottom)


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