Commercial Pilot Airman Certification Standards (ACS) **MUST UTILIZE**

May 23, 2024

In the world of aviation, precision and adherence to standards are paramount. Commercial pilots aiming to excel and pass their check rides must familiarize themselves with the Airman Certification Standards (ACS). These standards, previously known as the Practical Test Standards (PTS), play a crucial role in the certification process for pilots. Let's delve into the significance of the ACS for commercial pilots and why it is essential for both students and instructors to understand and utilize them effectively.



The Evolution from PTS to ACS:
The terminology may have changed from PTS to ACS, but the essence of the standards remains consistent. Commercial pilot expert, Kenny Keller, emphasizes the importance of transitioning to the ACS and highlights its benefits. Keller, with over a decade of experience in the aviation industry, and creator of Helicopter Online Ground School, acknowledges the shift and believes that the ACS streamlines the testing process, making it more accessible and structured for pilots and instructors alike.

Navigating the ACS:
One of the key takeaways from Keller's insights is the emphasis on the practical test checklist within the ACS. This checklist serves as a vital tool for both students and instructors, ensuring that all necessary items are in place before the check ride. By understanding and utilizing this checklist effectively, pilots can avoid unnecessary setbacks and ensure a smooth testing experience.

The Importance of Preparation:
Preparation is key in the world of aviation, and the ACS acts as a comprehensive guide for pilots seeking their commercial certification. Keller highlights the importance of thorough preparation, emphasizing that going through the ACS page by page is crucial for success. For aspiring commercial pilots, having a deep understanding of the ACS is not just recommended—it is essential for a successful check ride.

Collaboration between Instructor and Student:
The partnership between the instructor and student is critical in navigating the ACS effectively. Keller underlines the significance of instructors having their own copy of the ACS to guide students through the certification process. Additionally, students are encouraged to have their own copy for self-study, ensuring a collaborative approach to mastering the standards set by the ACS.

Embracing Change and Moving Forward:
While the transition from PTS to ACS may present some challenges, Keller's perspective sheds light on the benefits of the new standards. Embracing change and adapting to the ACS is crucial for staying updated and aligned with industry standards. By incorporating the ACS into their training and study routines, commercial pilots can enhance their knowledge and skills, ultimately leading to safer and more proficient flight operations.


In conclusion, the Airman Certification Standards serve as a cornerstone for commercial pilots on their journey to certification. Understanding the ACS, utilizing the practical test checklist, and collaborating effectively with instructors are key components in achieving success in the testing process. As the aviation industry evolves, embracing the ACS and staying informed about industry standards are essential for pilots seeking to excel in their careers. By immersing themselves in the ACS, commercial pilots can navigate the skies with confidence and precision, setting a strong foundation for their future endeavors in aviation.