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Commercial Pilot Licence
What you will Achieve from this Program
When you complete this program, you will obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence issued by Transport Canada, as well as the issuance of a Certificate of Qualification—Commercial Pilot by Coastal Pacific Aviation.
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 requires a minimum flight crew of one pilot—e.g., air taxi services—or the privileges of Second-in-command (First Officer) of any aircraft type where two pilots are required—e.g., commuter or airline services—proved the aircraft type-training has been completed and the aircraft type is endorsed on the Commercial Pilot Licence.
Important for those seeking to become professional pilots, the Private Pilot Licence is the required qualification established by Transport Canada for those seeking entrance into Commercial Pilot Licence Training. While Private Pilot students can begin their Commercial Pilot groundschool studies before they have completed their Private Pilot Licence, the air instruction (flight trianing) for the Commercial Pilot Licence cannot proceed until the Private Pilot Licence is completed (CAR 421.30[4}[a]).
Overview of Pilot Training
Commercial Pilot students must undergo two examinations—one is a flight test conducted in an aircraft with a Pilot Examiner, and the other is a written examination conducted by Transport Canada. There are time limits on when these examinations must occur—the flight test must be completed no later than two years after successfully completing the written examination, and by comparison, the written examination must be completed no later than one year after successfully completing the flight test. Commercial Pilot training is therefore oriented towards preparing students for these two examinations—that is, the flight training provides preparation for the flight test, while the ground school portion provides preparation for the written examination. While flight training is conducted for the most part one-on-one with a Flight Instructor, ground school is normally conducted in a conventional classroom setting. All training must conform with standards established by Transport Canada, and the aircraft used for training must meet the maintenance standards established by Transport Canada for certified commercial aircraft.
Requirements for Entrance (Prerequisites) and Completion
Students must hold a Category 1 Medical Certificate prior to attempting the Commercial Pilot flight test, or prior to attempting the qualifying Commercial Pilot written examination. To be eligible to write the qualifying written examination, Commercial Pilot students must complete 50% of their flight experience requirements (CAR 421.13(4)).
The minimum requirements established by Transport Canada are:
The minimum age requirement for the Student Pilot Permit is 14-years of age, while the minimum age for the Private Pilot Licence is 17-years of age. Incidentally, the minimum age requirement to qualify for a Commercial Pilot Licence is 18-years of age.
In accordance with the requirements established by StudentAid BC Policy Manual, 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).
In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all international student must demonstrate ALPT (English Language proficiency).
Transport Canada's Minimum Requirements for Completion
Knowledge Requirements—Ground School Instruction
An applicant shall have completed a minimum of 80 hours commercial pilot aeroplane ground school instruction including at least the following subjects:
Canadian Aviation Regulations,
Aerodynamics and Theory of Flight,
Airframes, Engines and Systems,
Radio and Electronic Theory,
Licensing Requirements, and
Human Factors, including pilot decision-making.
Knowledge Requirements—Written Examination
All applicants shall have obtained a minimum of 60% in each of the following four mandatory subjects areas as well as in the overall written examination Commercial Pilot Licence—Aeroplane (CPAER):
Air Law—regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the licence,
Navigation—navigation, radio aids and electronic theory,
Aeronautics—General Knowledge—airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments and flight operations.
An applicant for a Commercial Pilot Licence—aeroplane shall:
have completed a minimum of 200 hours flight time in aeroplanes, of which a minimum of 100 hours shall be pilot-in-command time including 20 hours cross-country pilot-in-command flight time, and
following the issuance of a private pilot licence—aeroplane by Canada or another contracting state, have completed 65 hours of commercial pilot flight training in aeroplanes consisting of a minimum of:
35 hours dual instruction flight time, under the direction and supervision of the holder of a Flight Instructor Rating — Aeroplane, including:
5 hours night, including a minimum of 2 hours of cross-country flight time;
5 hours cross-country; and
20 hours of instrument flight time—a maximum 10 hours of the 20 hours may be conducted on an approved aeroplane simulator or synthetic flight training device.
30 hours solo flight time including:
25 hours solo flight time emphasizing the improvement of general flying skills of the applicant which shall include a cross-country flight to a point of a minimum of 300 nautical mile radius from the point of departure and shall include a minimum of 3 landings at points other than that of departure; and
5 hours solo flight time by night during which a minimum of 10 takeoffs, circuits and landings were completed.
Within the 12 months preceding the date of application for the licence, an applicant for a commercial pilot licence — aeroplane shall successfully complete a flight test as pilot-in-command of an aeroplane, in accordance with the Commercial Pilot Flight Test Guide.
Estimated Training Costs
The following are the minimum estimated cost for students based on Transport Canada's minimum requirements. Please keep in mind that the above pricing is subject to change without notice—this permits the school to respond timely to significant fluctuations in aviation fuel costs. Importantly, Coastal Pacific Aviation does not charge students with a fuel surcharge—a practice common with flight schools whereby the added cost of fuel is not published on websites under training costs.
With respect to the costs described above, and for the benefit of those just getting started in their pilot training, here is a guide to some of the concepts included in the above costs: “Dual Air Instruction” denotes instruction during a training flight that is conducted under the direction and control of a Flight Instructor. “Dual Simulator Instruction” denotes instruction received from a Flight Instructor in Coastal Pacific Aviation's Flight Simulators. “Solo Practice” denotes a training flight conducted under the supervision of a Flight Instructor in which the student is the sole occupant of the aircraft. “Preparatory Ground Instruction” refers to classroom instruction, normally conducted one-on-one, that prepares a student for a newly introduced air exercise. While Preparatory Ground Instruction varies between 10 minutes and one hour, a standardized 12 minutes (.2 of an hour) is charged as a flat rate prior to each 1-hour dual flight (the flat rate is designed to keep the fair and equal among students). “Pre-flight Briefings” refers thepre-flight ground instruction and review conducted by a Flight Instructor with the student prior to each flight lesson or solo practice flight. “Post-flight De-briefing” refers to ground instruction and review which occurs between the student and the Flight Instructor after the flight has returned. “Groundschool Instruction” denotes collective instruction—normally provided in a classroom setting by a Groundschool Instructor—that prepares students for the written examination requirements of the licence. “Tutorial Instruction” refers to informal meetings of Groundschool students under the supervision of Teaching Assistants—Teaching Assistants are normally senior students who have been appointed to lead classroom tutorials.
To meet the minimum total time experience requirements established by Transport Canada for the Commercial Pilot Licence—a minimum of 100 hours Pilot-in-command, and a minimum of 200 hours total—most students will be required to fly additional hours (time-building) as Pilot-in-command (PIC). This cost of time-building can be considerable and must be factored in as part of the cost of training.
Important Considerations for the estimated costs of Pilot Training
It is important to note that the training costs for pilot training is difficult to predict owing to the fact that the training frequency among student vary, as does the skill level of students with regard to both flight training and written examination preparation.
If a student has difficulty in preparing for written examination, the effect of this is likely to be simply delayed completion—delayed completion does add to expenses—food and housing while being a student, for example—but this is much less than the costs of having to add more practice flights to the air training.
The more significant cost variable therefore pertains to the flying skill levels of students—students must meet the flying standards of Canadian Commercial Pilots as established by Transport Canada, and as outlined in the Commercial Pilot Licence Flight Test Guide.
Be aware that Flight Instructors are required by Transport Canada not to recommend students for flight tests unless they have a reasonable expectation the student will be successful—if a Flight Instructor’s passing rate for flight tests does not meet published standards (CAR 421.67), Flight Instructors—as well as the flight school—are subject to Transport Canada review and penalties.
While training costs overruns are less likely with Commercial Pilot Student when compared with students enrolled in the Private Pilot Program (Commercial Pilot students already know how to fly when they start the program), cost overruns are still a risk, especially when a student experiences delays in completing the written examination requirements of the training.
What is the best way to deal with this risk? In the case of Private Pilot students, we recommend that they retain an additional $5,000 in reserve for financial planning purposes should a cost overrun be encountered. Just to be on the cautious side, we recommend Commercial Pilot Students do the same. We also point out that—in all cases—training costs can be substantially reduced in conjunction with regular flying and effective student self-study and preparation for flights.
Important Considerations for International Students
For International Students, our admissions process requires that you send a non-refundable $350 administrative fee, payable to Coastal Pacific Aviation, which will be used to fund administrative and courier costs, including the preparation and issue of the Letter of Acceptance. You will use Letter of Acceptance when you begin your application for a Study Permit and Visa. All payments made by International students must be made by Wire Transfer—please contact Jing (Ashley) He, Coastal Pacific Aviation’s Accounting Officer via email to obtain detailed information on how to pay with Wired Transfer. For all sorts of additional information importance to International Students, please see the International Students’ Page of this website.