Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.
Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.
~ Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra


The Commercial Pilot Licence is the minimum licence needed to be employed as a pilot and will allow you to fly all single-engine aircraft that are classified as non-high performance during day and night hours under Visual Flight Rules.

A Commercial Pilot Licence may be enhanced with additional endorsements to allow the holder to fly floatplanes or multi-engine aircraft as well as flight in any weather condition day or night.

*Prerequisite: Private Pilot Licence.


Training Overview

The Commercial Pilot Program is divided into two separate related paths, ground school, and air instruction. Ground school will provide you with the required background knowledge and understanding to successfully pass the written examination, while the air instruction and solo practice will provide you with the skills required to succeed at the flight test.

A minimum age of eighteen (18) years old is required for a Commercial Licence. However, flight training can be started as early as fourteen (14) years of age, as this is the minimum age required to obtain a student pilot permit and complete the prerequisite Private Pilot Licence training (licensing age of 17).

All pilots are required to have a Medical Certificate. There are four categories of medical certificates and the process of obtaining a certificate will differ depending on the category and your age.

Category 1 is required for a Commercial Licence. The Medical examination must be performed by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner.

The fee for the examination will vary with the individual examiner but is usually between $150.00 and $200.00. This fee is not normally covered under any medical plans.

More information about specific medical requirements based on the category you’re  applying for can be found here:

Ground school is conducted in a classroom setting. All students will be required to attend ground school for a minimum of 80 hours on the following subjects:

  • Theory of Flight
  • Licensing Requirements
  • Aerodynamics Airframes and Engines
  • Systems and Flight Instruments
  • Canadian Aviation Regulations
  • Meteorology
  • Human Factors
  • Pilot Decision Making
  • Flight Operations
  • Navigation Radio and Electronic Theory.

Students will be required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the required subjects by obtaining a mark of no less than 60% in each of the following mandatory areas as well as overall.

  • Air Law: regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements
  • Navigation: navigation, radio aids, and electronic theory
  • Meteorology: active weather and weather information
  • General Knowledge: airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments, flight operations, and human factors


The written examination is a computer-based exam which is administered by Transport Canada. The questions are in a multiple-choice format.

Air instruction is separated into dual instruction and solo practice. During dual instruction, students will be introduced to new exercises and practice previous exercises. Once a level of skill and competence has been reached, students will fly solo in the aircraft to practice the air exercises.

Once students have completed their PPL they will receive a total of 65 hours of the flight training while on course. The training requirements are divided up as follows:

  • 35 hours of dual flight instruction, including
    • 5 hours cross country flight
    • 5 hours night flying, 2 hours of this during cross country flight
    • 20 hours of instrument training
    • of which 10 hours can be done in a simulator
    • 5 hours of improvement of general flying skills


  • 30 hours of solo flight practice, including
    • 25 hours for improvement of general flying skills
    • Cross country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles from the point of departure with three landings at other points
    • 5 hours night flying


  • 200 hrs total time including not less than 100 hrs pilot-in-command of which 20 hours must be cross country time.

Following the completion of your flight training, you will be required to complete a flight test. During the flight-test, you will be tested on your understanding of aircraft performance, aircraft systems, emergency procedures, and navigational skills. Additionally, your performance of the required air exercises will be tested to the standard outlined in the Flight Test Guide Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane.

Study and Reference Guide

The latest Study and Reference Guide for Commercial Pilot Licence can be found on the Transport Canada publications website, the link for which is given below.


Flight Test Guide

The latest Flight Test Guide Guide for Commercial Pilot Licence can be found on the Transport Canada publications website, the link for which is given below.


Whenever you have questions about the written examination or flight test, those two guides are the ones you should refer to first to get answers.

Books and manuals

  • From the Ground Up (StudyBook)
  • Flight Training Manual  (Flight Exercises)
  • Pilot Operating Handbook (P.O.H., Aircraft Manual)
  • Advanced  Human Factors Manual Handbook
Optional but nice to have:  

Pilot Charts

  • Vancouver VFR Navigation Chart
  • Vancouver VFR Terminal Chart
  • En route Low Altitude—LO1 and LO2

Pilot Flight Computers

  • CX-2 Electronic Flight Computer, or
  • E6-B Computer

Pilot Logbooks

  • Basic or Professional size logbook

Other Supplies

  All these books and supplies can be purchased from