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International Students

Thank you for your interest in Coastal Pacific Aviation.  This page is designed to provide need-to-know information to international students seeking to start the process for gaining admission with the CPA, and simultaneously complete the process for international students required by our regulators—primary the requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  We will make all effort to get you here as quickly as possible so that we can one day soon welcome you as one of our student pilots!  It is our great pleasure to teach students to fly, but it is especially our pleasure to coach students from all over the world!

Canada has been a world leader in international flight training, owing to the reputation achieved by Canadian licence holders actively engaged in commercial flight operations in all corners of the world.  The standards established by both Transport Canada and major Canadian air carriers ensure solid pilot skills, a thorough yet practical pilot-knowledge base, enveloped in standard of safe and effective pilot decision-making. Did you that that Canada is the only country in the world that requires Commercial Pilots to demonstrate to  entry and recovery of an aircraft from full-autorotation spins?  The history of international flight training in Canada goes back to the 1940s with the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and it is pride and conviction that we—like many other flight schools located throughout Canada—are able to continue in the tradition of providing effective and proven pilot training programs for international students.

Policy of Non-affiliation—Equal treatment of All International Students

CPA is committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all of its International Student and does not maintain affiliation with any business/recruiting agents or special interest groups in other countries that could lead to unfair recruitment fees levied against students, or preferential access to flight training resources. All International Students are treated fairly and equally, and CPA seeks to minimize the cost of training in all cases. International Students are fully integrated with CPA 's domestic students.


English Language Proficiency

In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization, all pilots must demonstrate speaking and listening comprehension in English.  In Canada, Transport Canada requires that all international students complete the Formal Aviation Language Proficiency Demonstration prior to their first solo flight.  The demonstration must be conducted by a Transport Canada Language Assessor over the telephone after the candidate's identity has been verified in person by a representative of the of the Chief Flight Instructor.  It is the student responsibility to ensure they can achieve either a expert or operational rating in English pronunciation, structure, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and interaction, as described in Appendix C - Rating Scale Explanation of the Guide to a Formal Aviation Language Proficiency Demonstration.


Time Required for Pilot Training

Modular ProgramsPrivate Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Instrument Rating, Multi-engine Class Rating, and Instructor Rating

For times required to complete the Modular Pilot Training programs varies owing to the hours of air and ground training required to complete the licence or rating, but the times also vary with students. The fact is that students learn at different rates—some are fast at the start, and others pick-up speed and their comfort with the cockpit environment grows. For this reason, we can only estimate the number of weeks or months, but here is our best estimate for average completions:

Time Required



The Private Pilot Licence—pursued on a full-time basis—can be technically completed in as little as six weeks, but it normally requires between three and six months, depending on student performance during the early stages of training.  For Private Pilot students, most variation in training time occurs in the “pre-solo” phase of the Private Pilot Licence—the average time required before students' first solo flight is somewhere around 15 hours, but in fact commonly varies between 10 and 30 hours, depending on performance skills. You should now that this has no refection on the quality of the final product—there is no correlation between time to solo and the quality of performance on the Private Pilot Flight Test.  Moreover, once the first solo flight is completed, students progress at the same rate.  The training times of Commercial Pilot Program students are surprising similar—between six to eight months—and the Multi-engine Class Rating and the Instrument Ratings require only about two months.  The primary reason for these variations is frequency of training flights—i.e., how many training flights a student can complete in a week.


Accelerated Pilot Training Program13 Months

For International Students registering in the Accelerated Pilot Training Program, plan for 13 Months to go from first-flight to final-flight, qualified with your Commercial Pilot Licence endorsed with a Group 1 (Multi-engine) Instrument Rating—with this you will hold the qualifications required for many pilot jobs.  

It’s important to know that to complete these licences along these time-lines, International Students will have to fly daily, five days per week. The same programs will take a year or more if the training pace is less than full-time.  Students unable to maintain the pace of the Accelerated Program roll back automatically to the modular training programs, which permit the student pilot to control the pace of training.

Students unable to maintain the pace of the Accelerated Program roll back automatically to the modular training programs.

Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Program13 Months

The Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Program compresses into the 13 months, which includes the Multi-crew and Airline Transport Pilot Training not found in the Accelerated Program.  Like the Accelerated Program, on-time completion of this course requires a full-time commitment.  Also like the Accelerated program, students unable to maintain the pace of the Integrated ATPL program roll back into the modular programs.

Business Administration (Aviation) Diploma and Degree24 Months and 4 Years

Students seeking to join CPA’s Aviation Diploma or Degree Programs enroll with our partners at the University of the Fraser Valley’s School of Business with starting semesters beginning in September of each year.  Completions in these programs are more predictable that the accelerated or integrated programs, but the pace of study packed with a combination of business and pilot training.

The Real Cost of Pilot Training

Performance Standards

When you are thinking of becoming a pilot, it is important to know that pilot training is a performance-based endeavor.  It is not a matter of simply completing the groundschool and flight training hours required and getting the licence or rating—instead, it is a matter of achieving the performance standard specified for licence or rating, whether it be the minimum pass mark on a Transport Canada flight test or written examination.  Even more, Transport Canada requires that Flight Instructor recommend their students for qualifying flight tests and written examinations only when their students meet the published standard—if too many candidates recommended by a Flight Instructor fail, the Flight Instructor will be held accountable.

Training Cost Overruns

Because of the variable learning rates of students, achievement of required standards can become delayed—this is especially the case with the pre-solo phase of the Private Pilot Licence training.

Frequency of Training Flights

The job prospects for pilots is especially good just now, but pilot training is nevertheless expensive—and this is especially the case with he Accelerated and Integrated programs with their trademark “rapid fire” training schedules, where the training is compressed into a short period of time with frequent training flights.  Students participating in the modular programs control their pace of training--where a lot  into a short period of time.  Be sure you are financially prepared for the pace of expenditure

Pace of Training

The job prospects for pilots is especially good just now, but pilot training is nevertheless expensive—and this is especially the case with he Accelerated and Integrated programs, with their trademark “rapid fire” full-time training schedules where students fly every day.  In contrast, students participating in the modular programs control their own pace of training—where they can fly every day, or fly once or twice a week.  What is important is for you to select a program that you can financially sustain.  While International Students must maintain full-time studies, the modular program structure will still provide greater financial flexibility compared to the Accelerated and Integrated programs.

How to Apply for Admission to CPA

Try to obtain as much information as possible from our website.  If you still have additional questions, communicate with CPA through the the following website:


If you are ready to apply for admission, the process will generally follow the following sequence:


  1. Complete the request for International Admissions Form (linked below).

  2. Once you have provided us with the necessary information, we will email you a draft Letter of Acceptance.

  3. Review the draft Letter of Acceptance and ensure all the information is correct.

  4. Send us the administration fee (see link below).

  5. We will courier the original Letter of Acceptance to you.

  6. Make contact with a with Citizen and Immigration Canada and begin the process obtaining a Study Permit (additional information on Study Permits is summarized on the follow page: How to Obtain a Study Permit.

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Banking and Money

Banking, Currency Conversion, and Money Transfers

There are some good sources of information for International Students regarding bank facilities in Canada—the University of Waterloo, Simon Fraser University, or the University of British Columbia, for example.  

It goes without saying that all costs are quoted by us in Canadian Dollars, and you can visit the following link to calculate your currency's conversion: Bank of Canada.

Two common methods are used to transfer many to Coastal Pacific Aviation, wire transfers, and e-transfers.  For wire transfers, work through you local bank and provide them with the following information:

For more information on wire transfers, contact the Financial Officer, Jing (Ashley) He.  

Ashley is also the recipient for e-transfer, and she can be reached at

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