Pilot authority is provided by Transport Canada through the issue of Aviation Document Booklets (ADB), which contain information on licence, permit, and rating privileges, the medical certificate, and English Language proficiency certification. The one exception is the Student Pilot Permit, which is a stand-alone document.

The ADBs are colour coded based on the authority type. Pilot Licences, including the Private Pilot Licence, Commercial Pilot Licence, and the Airline Transport Pilot Licence are blue in colour, Air Traffic Controller Licences are grey, while pilot permits, such as the Recreational Pilot Permit, are grey.

ADBs are valid for 60 months (5 years) from the date of issue, and expire on the 1st day of the 61st month.

In accordance with the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all pilots must be assessed and provided with respect to their language proficiency rating. English is the language of aviation according to ICAO standards, and all pilots must demonstrate an acceptable level of language proficiency.

There are three language proficiency ratings: expert, operational, and below operational. An expert rating is provided to those who achieve level 6 on the language proficiency test, and this assessment provides that no further testing of the pilot is required. An operational rating is provided to those who score at level IV or five on the test, and English language proficiency must be re-tested every five years. An assessment of being below operational proficiency means that the candidate does not qualify for a Canadian pilot license or permit.

There are six categories of aircraft for which flying privileges are provided: balloon, glider, aeroplane, ultra-light aeroplane, helicopter, and gyro plane.

There are four classes of aeroplanes for which privileges are further specified: single-engine land aeroplane, single-engine sea aeroplane, multi-engine land aeroplane, and multi-engine sea aeroplane.

Commercial Pilot candidates must complete their written examination for the licence before they can be recommended to attempt their flight tests. Also, Commercial Pilot students must be timely in completing their flight test-the results of the written examinations are valid for only 24 months—i.e., successful qualification for the licence (both written examination and flight test) must be accomplished within two year of writing the written examination, and the flight test results are only valid for one year.

If a persons fails a written examination, there is a waiting period. In the event of a first failure, the person must wait 14 days; with a second failure, the waiting period is 30 days; and in the case of third or subsequent failures, the person must wait 30 days plus an additional 30-day period for each failure in excess of two failures, up to a maximum of 180 days.

This waiting requirement does not apply to the PSTAR examination required for the Student Pilot Permit.

The Commercial Pilot written examination is composed of “sections,” and the waiting requirements do not apply if a person obtains a passing grade on the overall examination, but fails one or more sections

Additionally, re-writing an examination only requires that you rewrite the failed sections.

The holder of a license endorsed with a Night Rating may exercise the privileges of a Private Pilot license in night VFR conditions.

Night Rating Requirements

– 20 hours flight experience in same aircraft category.
– 10 hours night-flight experience, including no less than 5 hours dual flight time which must include a 2 hour cross-country, and 5 hours solo flight time which must include 10 circuits.
– 10 hours dual instrument time.

The holder of a license endorsed with a VFR Over-the-Top (VFR OTT) Rating may exercise the privileges of the license while flying VFR above a cloud ceiling.

VFR OTT Requirements

– 20 hours flight experience in same aircraft category.

The holder of a Commercial Pilot License may exercise the privileges of Pilot-in-command of any aircraft engaged in a commercial air service where the aircraft minimum flight crew document requires a minimum flight crew of one pilot—e.g., air taxi-or the privileges of co-pilot (Second-in-command) of any aircraft type that is endorsed on his or her license.

Commercial Pilots receive a Blanket Aircraft Type Rating for “all single pilot, non-high performance single engine land aeroplanes;” however, they can fly any aeroplane other than the blanket type provided they have received an Individual Aircraft Type Rating (discussed below), which may require additional ratings, examinations, and flight examinations.

CPL Requirements

– Minimum Age of 18 years.
– Category 1 Medical Certificate.
– Training conducted as per Transport Canada requirements.
– 80 hours Groundschool on subjects specified by Transport Canada.
– 60% on the Transport Canada written examination (Air Law, Navigation, Meteorology, Aeronautics—General Knowledge).
– 200 hours flight-time experience, including 100 as Pilot-in-command, and 20 hours cross-country Pilot-in-Command.
– 65 hours flight training in the aircraft category aeroplane, gyroplane, or helicopter), including no less than 35 dual with a flight instructor, and 30 hours solo.
– Of the 35 hours of dual flight, 5 must be night (including a 2-hour night cross-country), and 20 hours must be instrument time (reference only to flight instruments).
– Of the 30 hours solo flight time emphasising improvement in flying skills, there must be a cross-country flight to a point not less than 300 nautical miles from the point of departure, with 3 full-stop landings. The 30 solo hours must also include 5 hours by night and completion of 10 circuits.
– Successful completion of flight test.

The holder of a license endorsed with an Instrument Rating may exercise the privileges of the license in IFR conditions—i.e., instrument flight rules, which is when the pilot can fly in cloud without visual reference to the ground.

Instrument Rating Requirements

– 70% on the Transport Canada written examination (Air Regulations, Instrument Flight Rules and Procedures, Meteorology, Instruments, Radio and Radar Systems, and Navigation).
– 50 hours cross-country experience.
– 40 hours instrument time, including a cross-country flight in actual or simulated IFR conditions of not less than 100 nautical miles, and including instrument approaches to specified approach altitude minima at two locations.
– Successful completion of a flight test.

Instrument Ratings are issued on the basis of A Group 1 Instrument Rating applies specific instrument privileges to fly any conventional multi-engine or single-engine aircraft, while the Group 3 Instrument Rating applies specific instrument privileges to fly only single-engine aircraft.

The holder of a license endorsed with a Multi-engine Rating may exercise the privileges of the license in aircraft equipped with two or more engines.

Multi-Engine Rating Requirements

– Successful completion of flight test.
– Multi-engine training generally revolves around managing engine failures—engine failure during takeoff, engine failure in departure, engine failure in cruise, engine failure during a steep turn, engine failure during a stall, and single engine approach and landings. It is not uncommon for the flight test to be less than an hour.

The holder of a license endorsed with a Seaplane Rating may exercise the privileges of the license in aircraft equipped to land and takeoff on water.

Seaplane Class Rating Requirements

– Must receive a minimum of 7 hours training including a minimum of 5 takeoffs and landings as the sole occupant of the aeroplane, as well as the following exercises: taxiing, sailing, docking, takeoffs and landings, and, as conditions exist, operation on glassy water, rough water and in crosswind conditions.

The holder of a Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)—the most senior license issue by Transport Canada—may exercise the privileges of Pilot-in-command or Co-pilot of any aircraft engaged in a commercial air service where the aircraft minimum flight crew document requires a minimum flight crew of two pilots, commuter or airline aircraft.

ATPL Requirements:

– An applicant for the ATPL must hold a Group 1 Instrument Rating.
– 70% on the Transport Canada written examinations—two must be written. The first examination (although order of writing is not important) is entitled SAMRA, and it concerns the subjects of Meteorology, Radio Aids to Navigation, and Flight Planning. The second examination is entitled SARON, which concerns Air Law, Aeroplane Operation and General Navigation.
– 1500 hours flight experience, of which 250 hours must be Pilot-in-command (100 of the 250 hours may be as Pilot-in-command under supervision), including 100 hours cross-country flight time (which must include 25 night hours).
– 100 hours night flight time as Pilot-in-command or co-pilot.
– 200 hours cross-country time as co-pilot in a two-crew aeroplane, or an additional 100 hours cross-country time as Pilot-in-command in addition to the above specified.
– 75 hours instrument flight time of which a maximum of 25 hours may be acquired in an approved instrument ground trainer.

There are two categories of type ratings (CAR 421.40), the first, as discussed above, is referred to as a Blanket Type Rating. The second category of type ratings is referred to as Individual Type Ratings, which cover specific aircraft types not included in the Blanket Type Rating. Individual Type Ratings are required to pilot any multi-crew aircraft (e.g., requiring a co-pilot), as well as any high performance aircraft. A high performance aircraft, in turn, is defined as aircraft with a never exceed speed (Vne) of 250 KTS indicated airspeed (KIAS) and greater, or a stall speed in a landing configuration (Vso) of 80 KIAS and greater. The rating is referred to as Individual Type as the high performance aircraft for which a pilot receives qualification is listed individually on his or her license.

Individual Type Rating Requirements

  • To obtain an Individual Type Rating on aeroplanes with a minimum flight crew requirement of at least two pilots, the applicant must:
    a). Obtain a minimum of 70% on the Type Rating-Aeroplane examination (entitled IATRA), or the Airline Transport Pilot License written examinations (SAMRA and SARON) within the 24 months preceding the first endorsement of the rating;
    b). Have completed 250 hours flight time;
    c). Have passed a Pilot Proficiency Check on the aeroplane type within 24 months preceding the application for the rating.
Every holder of a flight crew permit, license or rating must maintain a personal log for the purpose of documenting experience and recency.

For each flight, this log must contain the following information:

the date of the flight;
– the type of aircraft and its registration mark
– the flight crew position in which the holder acts;
– the flight conditions with respect to day, night, VFR and IFR;
– in the case of aeroplanes, the place of departure and the place of arrival;
– all of the intermediate takeoffs and landings;

the flight time.
No person shall make an entry in a personal log unless the person is the holder of the log, or has been authorized to make the entry by the holder of the log.

A pilot with CPL successfully complete the Instructor Rating Program will lead to be eligibility for Class IV Instructor Rating and the issuance of a Certificate of Qualification—Instructor Rating from CAC.  The holder of a Class IV Instructor Rating may exercise the privileges of a Flight Instructor in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations.


Before commencing training in the Instructor Rating Program, a student requires:

  • A valid Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot Licence—Aeroplane Category;
  • A valid Category 1 Medical Certificate;
  • Not less than 20 hours instrument time, at least 10 hours of which must be instrument flight time.

In accordance with the requirements established by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency, entrance into this program requires the completion of Grade 12 (or equivalent) or candidates must qualify as a mature student (age 19 and not having attended school full-time for 52 weeks).

International student non-refundable registration fee $1000.00CAD, domestic student non-refundable registration fee $250CAD.

Students pay tuition and aircraft utilisation at the conclusion of training flights, and pay ground school tuition at the beginning of the session.   All flight schools in British Columbia are required by law to charge the GST (5%).  Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Debit Cards are accepted.

Aircraft rates may be subject to change with minimal notice, depending on such things, for example, as fluctuating aviation fuel prices.

Transport Canada establishes the minimum requirements for the Flight Instructor Rating as follows:

  • Students require 25 hours of ground instruction which includes the following instruction:
    • Practical application of the basic principles of learning and techniques of instruction;
    • Preparation and use of lesson plans;
    • Procedures for planning and presenting preparatory ground instruction, pre-flight briefings, in-flight instruction, and post-flight debriefings;
    • Theory of flight required to teach the air exercises;
    • Aircraft flight manuals and aircraft operating limits;
    • Presentation of pilot decision-making concepts; and
    • The use of the Transport Canada Flight Instructor Guide, Flight Training Manual, and applicable Flight Test Guides.
  • Students require 30 hours of dual flight instruction focusing on overall pilot proficiency and the presentation of all exercises contained in the Flight Instructor Guide, of which not less than 5 hours must be training in the teaching of instrument flight skills.
  • Knowledge is demonstrated by obtaining not less than 70% in a written examination on aeroplane administration, instructor general knowledge, theory of flight, aircraft instruments, instrument indications, radio navigational techniques, and instrument instruction techniques (AIRAF).
  • Prior to writing the Transport Canada examinations, all of the groundschool requirements must be completed, as well as 50% of the flight training requirements.
  • Students must also successfully complete an Instructor Rating Flight Test and meet the Instructor Competency Assessment Standards for a Class IV.


Ground Training and Instruction Hours
Briefing: Instructor Rating Overview

Briefing: Preparatory Ground Instruction design and organisation

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Forced Approach .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Precautionary Landings .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Diversions .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Spiral Dives .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Illusions Created by Drift .8
Groundschool: Flight Instructor Rating Flight Test

Groundschool: Learning and Learning Factors

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Attitudes & Movements .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Range & Endurance .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Slow Flight .8
Groundschool: Lesson Plan Structure and Organisation .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Stalls

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Advanced Stalls

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Incipient Spins

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Full Spins

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Forward Slipping

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Side-slipping

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Basic and Advanced Turns .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Basic and Advanced Straight and Level Flight .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Basic and Advanced Climbs and Descents .8
Groundschool: Air Law for Flight Instruction .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Navigation (excluding Diversions) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Take-offs, Circuits, & Approach and Landings .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Soft-field Take-offs & Landings .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Short-field Take-offs & Landings .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Cross-wind Take-offs & Landings .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument Flying (Full Panel) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument Flying (Partial Panel) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument Flying (Unusual Attitudes) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument Flying (VOR Navigation) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument Flying (ADF Navigation) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument Flying (GPS Navigation) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Instrument (Simulated Approach) .8
Preparatory Ground Instruction: Night Circuits

Preparatory Ground Instruction: Night Cross-country

Preparatory Ground Instruction Review .8
Total: 25.6


Air Training Hours
Left Seat Review 1.0
Right Seat Check-out 1.0
Forced Landings & Lesson Plan #22 1.0
Precautionary Landings & Lesson Plan #24 1.0
Attitudes & Movements: Lesson Plan #2 1.0
Range & Endurance: Lesson Plan #4 1.5
Slow Flight: Lesson Plan #5 & Lesson Plan #20 1.0
Stalls: Lesson Plan #5Lesson Plan #6, & Lesson Plan #22 1.0
Spins: Lesson Plan #6 & Lesson Plan #22 1.0
Spiral Dives: Lesson Plan #7 1.0
Slipping & Steep Turns: Lesson Plan #7 1.0
Turns: Lesson Plan #2Lesson Plan, # 3, and Lesson Plan #7 1.0
Straight & Level Flight: Lesson Plan #2Lesson Plan #3, and Lesson Plan #4 1.0
Navigation: Lesson Plan #26 1.0
Navigation (Diversions): Lesson Plan #26 1.0
Take-offs, Circuits, & Landings: Lesson Plan #8 1.0
Soft-field Take-offs & Landings: Lesson Plan #16 1.0
Short-field Take-offs & Landings: Lesson Plan #14 1.0
Cross-wind Take-offs & Landings: Lesson Plan #9 & Lesson Plan #18 1.0
Illusions Created by Drift: Lesson Plan #24 1.0
Instrument (Full Panel) 1.0
Instrument (Unusual Attitudes) 1.0
Instrument (VOR) 1.0
Instrument (ADF) 1.0
Instrument (Limited Flying) 1.0
Pre-Flight Review 1.0
Review of Air Instruction 4.0
Total: 30.1