General information on pilot licences and permits
This brochure outlines general information for persons interested in aviation both as a hobby and as a career. The Aeronautics Act and Canadian Aviation Regulations contain Canadian aeronautics legislation, regulations and standards. The Canadian Aviation Regulations also contain complete licensing requirements and specific details for individual permits, licences, ratings and medical requirements.
Aviation Flight Crew Licensing in Canada is administered by the Department of Transport. To meet the needs of the aviation community, there are five regional offices and a headquarters office at the following locations:
95 Foundry St., 6th floor
PO Box 42
3600 Lysander Lane
700 Leigh Capreol
2nd floor, Suite 2033
Montreal Int'l Airport
4900 Yonge St.
PRAIRIE AND NORTHERN REGION
344 Edmonton St.
PO Box 8550
330 Sparks St.
Inquiries with respect to Aviation Flight Crew Licences should be directed to the regional office closest to the applicant's proposed or present place of residence in Canada. The issue of permits, licences and medical certificates, processing of applications, invigilating of examinations, assessment of medical reports, flight tests, etc. are administered by Regional staff.
Licences and Permits issued in Canada
There are several types of pilot permits, licences issued in Canada and the requirements for each are different. In addition, there are licences issued to persons in the aviation industry other than pilots. The following is a list of permits and licences issued in Canada and the minimum age requirement:
|Permit or Licence type||Age||Permit or Licence type||Age|
|Student Pilot Permit||14||Private Pilot Licence - Aeroplane||17|
|Pilot Permit Ultra-light Aeroplane||16||Private Pilot Licence - Helicopter||17|
|Pilot Permit Gyroplane||17||Commercial Pilot Licence - Aeroplane||18|
|Pilot Permit Recreational Aeroplane||16||Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter||18|
|Pilot Licence - Glider||16||Airline Transport Pilot Licence - Aeroplane||21|
|Pilot Licence - Balloon||17||Airline Transport Pilot Licence - Helicopter||21|
|Flight Engineer Licence||18|
Student Pilot Permit
Applicants who wish to obtain a Student Pilot Permit - Glider or Student Pilot Permit - Ultra-light Aeroplane may complete a medical declaration to meet the Category 4 medical standard. Individuals who are unable to complete the medical declaration and applicants for all other categories of Student Pilot Permits should contact a designated Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME) to undergo a medical examination to determine their medical fitness for flying.
A full listing of approved Medical Examiners is available on the internet at:
Persons who are assessed medically fit are sent a Medical Certificate from Transport Canada. The Medical Certificate may then be taken to the Flight Training Unit where an Authorized Person may issue a Student Pilot Permit, providing all of the following requirements have been met:
- proof of age and citizenship;
- proof of medical fitness;
- proof of having met the experience and skill requirement to complete solo flight.
When the training has been completed and the applicant has met the requirements for permit or licence issue, application is made and the back of the Student Pilot Permit may be certified for additional privileges for up to 90 days. This will allow the applicant to exercise the privileges of the permit or licence while the application is processed and the formal licence issued by Transport Canada.
Aeroplane Class Ratings (Licence holders)
Aeroplane category licences may be endorsed for one of the following class ratings upon completion of the required training:
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine land aeroplanes;
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine sea aeroplanes;
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine land and sea aeroplanes;
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine and centre thrust multi-engine land aeroplanes;
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine and centre thrust multi-engine land and sea aeroplanes;
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine and centre thrust multi-engine sea aeroplanes;
- all single pilot non-high performance, single engine and multi-engine land and sea aeroplanes
Aeroplane Blanket Ratings - Recreational Pilot Permit
Aeroplane category permits may be endorsed for one of the following class ratings upon completion of the required training:
- all piston-powered, single engine non-high performance land aeroplanes designed for a maximum of up to four seats;
- all piston-powered, single engine non-high performance sea aeroplanes designed for a maximum of up to four seats;
- all piston-powered, single engine non-high performance land and sea aeroplanes designed for a maximum of four seats.
Individual Aircraft Type Ratings
An individual aircraft type rating is issued for aircraft not included in a blanket type rating. It is indicated by an aircraft type designator endorsed on the permit or licence. Individual aircraft type ratings are required as follows:
- each aeroplane with a minimum flight crew requirement of at least two pilots;
- each aeroplane type to be endorsed on a flight engineer licence;
- each aeroplane type to be endorsed on a second officer rating;
- each aeroplane type to be endorsed on a permit or licence for which no class rating is issued; and
- each high performance aeroplane type to be endorsed on a pilot licence - aeroplane
Each new type of helicopter requires its own type rating.
Note: For some helicopters the flight crew requirement may be one pilot for certain operations such as VFR flight and two pilots for other operations such as IFR flight. In this case the holder of Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter may only act as pilot-in-command while engaged in operations where the flight crew requirement is one pilot. If the flight crew requirement is two pilots then the pilot-in-command must have a valid Airline Transport Pilot Licence - Helicopter. In all cases the licence must be endorsed with a type rating as indicated above.
Each type of gyroplane other than single seat gyroplanes.
All non-power driven balloons.
Aircraft to be endorsed on a restricted licence
Each type of Aircraft.
Crediting of Flight Time
Applicant for Canadian flight crew licence may be credited with flying experience recorded in a personal log book or other certified record of flying experience. Experience obtained during training, employment or as a member of the armed forces may be credited towards the experience requirements for licence issue as per the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
Application for Licence or Permit
Application forms for all flight crew permits and licences may be obtained from Flight Training Units or Transport Canada Regional Offices. Application forms for Air traffic Controller and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licences may be obtained from Transport Canada Regional Offices.
Prior to the issue of a permit or licence, an application must be submitted and the following requirements met:
- proof of age and citizenship (not required if previously submitted)
- proof of medical fitness;
- proof of having met the knowledge requirements;
- proof of having met the skill requirement;
- proof of having met the experience requirement;
- payment of the appropriate fees.
The minimum age for each permit or licence holder is shown in the chart above.
Proof of Age
The following documents are acceptable proof of the age of an applicant for a flight crew permit, licence or rating:
- a citizenship certificate,
- a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.
- a birth certificate or baptismal certificate, certified by the issuing authority, or a duly notarized copy. If the date of birth is not shown on a baptismal certificate it shall be supported by a statutory declaration in which the applicant declares the date of birth,
- a passport,
- an aviation flight crew licence or permit, showing the date of birth, issued by the state of which the applicant is a citizen,
- a Canadian immigration Record and Visa, Form IMM1000, issued to a landed immigrant by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.
An applicant's citizenship must be shown on his aviation personnel permit or licence and must therefore be determined prior to the first issue of the document. In cases where proof of citizenship cannot be determined from the documents on file, an applicant will be required to provide such proof in the form of a statement from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Proof of Citizenship
The following documents are acceptable as proof of citizenship:
- a citizenship certificate
- a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration;
- a birth certificate or baptismal certificate issued in Canada or in a state whose citizens do not require a passport to travel in Canada. A copy certified by the issuing state or duly notarized is acceptable,
- a passport. If no expiry date is indicated on the passport, an attestation that the passport is valid is required from the applicant's state of citizenship,
- an Flight Crew Licence showing the citizenship of the holder and issued by the state of which the applicant is a citizen, and
- a Canadian Immigration Record and Visa, Form IMM1000, issued to a landed immigrant by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.
The medical standards for Civil Aviation Flight Crew Licences have been established in accordance with the International Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization and are outlined in the Canadian Aviation Regulations 424.
Medical fitness is normally established by means of a medical examination conducted by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME) or in the case of an applicant for a Pilot Licence - Glider, Pilot Permit - Ultra-light Aeroplane or Pilot Permit - Recreational - Aeroplane, through completion of a Civil Aviation Medical Declaration. The frequency of medical reports are determined by the age of the applicant and the type of licence being applied for. The medical examination requirements are described in 424 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The valid to date is calculated to the first day of the month following the date of medical or declaration and it is entered on the permit or licence in the format "year/month/day".
Persons interested in obtaining a Canadian permit or licence shall, at their own expense, undergo a medical examination by a designated Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME). The names of examiners in a particular area may be obtained from local flying clubs and schools, from your local phone book, from Transport Canada regional offices or on the internet at: http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/came-meac/l.aspx?lang=eng
Medical Examinations outside of Canada
Applicants living outside of Canada may have the required flight crew medical examination conducted by either a designated CAME or by an Aviation Medical Examiner designated by the Licensing Authority of a Contracting State of ICAO. In either case, the examination findings should be recorded on Transport Canada Medical Examination Report forms and the results forwarded to Transport Canada, Flight Crew Licensing, 330 Sparks St., 6th floor, Ottawa, Canada, K1N 0N8.
It is essential that the information recorded in Part A of the Medical Examination Report form be complete and accurate, specifically with respect to full name and date of birth. Discrepancies will be followed up and may result in delays in document issue. Applicants should also ensure that the mailing address is complete including postal code to minimize postal delays.
For the initial issue of a Commercial or higher type licence, additional medical reports are required as specified in the CARs 424. Medical fitness must be determined before an applicant may write the examinations or undergo the flight test. Private Pilot applicants who intend to proceed to higher type licences are encouraged to provide all required medical documents early in their training to ensure medical fitness for future training towards the higher licence.
Knowledge is normally established by the satisfactory completion of written examinations, although there are some exceptions such as land or sea ratings. Examinations must be written within 24 months of applying for the permit or licence. The specific knowledge requirements are found in the appropriate sections of the CARs.
The level of formal education for the issue of flight crew permits/licences is not specifically defined by Transport Canada; however, an individual must be able to read the examination questions and write the answers in either English or French without assistance.
Written examinations may be completed at the regional office during normal working hours or at various locations within the Region during scheduled visits by representatives of Transport Canada, providing prior arrangements have been made with the appropriated Regional Office.
Experience is the specified flight or instrument time required for the issue of a permit; licence or rating. Such time must be entered in a personal log, pilot training record or some other acceptable record. Attention must be paid not only to the total time required for the permit; licence or rating, but also to the individual specific requirements included in the total time.
Skill is demonstrated by a flight test or a statement of competency. The CARs specify the skill requirements for each type of permit/licence or rating.
The written examinations required for the issue of a Student Pilot Permit are valid until a pilot permit or licence is issued. The Airline Transport Pilot Licence written examinations required for a type rating are valid for future use providing a mark of 70% or higher is obtained. All other tests and examinations required for the issue of a permit/licence or rating shall be completed, all fees paid and an application submitted during the 24 month period immediately preceding the date of application for a permit; licence or rating.
The fees required for the issue of a permit; licence or rating are specified in Part IV, Section 104.01(1) and (2) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The fee schedule is available on the Internet at: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-433/page-8.html.
Aeronautical Maps and Charts
Information relative to maps and charts as well as the Canada Air Pilot and supplementary publications may be obtained from:
Canada Map Office
Natural Resources Canada
130 Bentley Ave.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
ICAO is a specialized agency at the United Nations. Accordingly, Member States of the United Nations which have ratified the Convention of International Civil Aviation are referred to as Contracting States. ICAO, through the participation of Contracting States, established International Standards and Recommended Practices relating to various aspects of aviation such as flight crew licensing, aircraft nationality and registration marks, air traffic services, search and rescue, etc., which are published as Annexes to the Convention.
Annex 1 to the Convention, " Flight Crew Licensing " contains the International, Standards and Recommended Practices with respect to age, knowledge, experience, etc. for all licences. Canada is a Contracting State and Canadian licensing standards are, in most respects, in accordance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. Flexibility based on national experience may be applied, for example, in the licensing of monocular vision private pilots.
Persons interested in obtaining ICAO publications should direct their inquiries to:
International Civil Aviation Organization
1000 Sherbrooke St. West
ICAO may be reached on the internet at: http://www.icao.org/
Foreign Applicant Information
Recognition of Licences issued by Contracting States
The reality of interchangeability of flight crew licences between Contracting States has not yet been achieved: however, a citizen of a Contracting State who holds a valid flight crew licence issued by that State would normally be eligible for some recognition of experience or credits for the issue of an equivalent Canadian licence. The Canadian Aviation Regulations outline specific credits.
Validation of Foreign Licences
To fly a Canadian registered aircraft a citizen of a Contracting State requires either a Canadian pilot permit or licence or a Foreign Licence Validation.
An applicant who permanently resides outside of Canada and holds a valid pilot licence issued by a Contracting State may be issued with a Foreign Licence Validation Certificate. Payment of the prescribed fee is required prior to issue. A Foreign Licence Validation Certificate is normally valid for a period of one year subject to the validity of the foreign licence or issued of a Canadian Medical Certificate.
Information required for Issue
A Foreign Licence Validation Certificate shall be issued to an applicant who provides the following:
- a foreign licence valid under the laws of a Contracting State and valid for the privileges requested; and
- a letter requesting issue of the Foreign Licence Validation Certificate and specifying the purpose for which the foreign licence is to be validated.
The FLVC shall be issued for a period of not longer than one year.
Purposes for which Foreign Licence Validation Certificates may be Issued
- for the holder to undergo a flight test;
- for private recreational flying;
- for ferry of an aircraft registered in Canada to or from a foreign country;
- for the holder to give training on an aircraft registered in Canada to the registered owner or to Canadian flight crew employed by the registered owner;
- for operation of aircraft registered in a foreign state under the operating certificate of a Canadian carrier, provided that the privileges are limited to the type of aircraft being operated;
- for operation of Canadian aircraft on Canadian commercial air services in urgent circumstances such as fire suppression operations, emergency agricultural and forestry aerial application, airlift in relief of domestic natural disasters and search and rescue operations.
- for the holder to receive training in a Canadian registered aircraft.
Employment Opportunites and Qualifications
Transport Canada has no jurisdiction in the selection of employees by the air industry beyond the regulatory requirements with respect to licensing qualifications. Information with regard to employment opportunities and qualifications may be obtained from the Commercial Air Service Company concerned, Canada Manpower Offices or
Air Transport Association of Canada
255 Albert St.
ATAC may be contacted on the internet at: http://www.atac.ca/.