Coastal Pacific Aviation

Private Pilot License Program

Earn your wings and take flight with CPA’s Private Pilot Program.


What will you achieve from this Program?

Upon successful completion of this program, you will attain a Private Pilot License granted by Transport Canada, in addition to receiving a Certificate of Qualification—Private Pilot from Coastal Pacific Aviation.

Private Pilots hold the authority to operate single-engine, non-high performance aircraft that require only one pilot. Additionally, they have the privilege to pilot other aircraft types, such as multi-engine planes, seaplanes, and high-performance aircraft, as long as these are duly endorsed on their license. This privilege extends to flying in various conditions, including daytime, nighttime, or even in cloudy conditions, contingent upon obtaining the requisite training and certifications under their Private Pilot License.

It’s important to note that for individuals aspiring to pursue a career as professional pilots, the Private Pilot License serves as the foundational qualification mandated by Transport Canada for entry into Commercial Pilot License Training. This program thus serves as the initial stepping stone for anyone aspiring to obtain a pilot’s license in Canada.

Overview of Pilot Training

Private Pilot students are required to undergo two essential examinations to earn their certification. The first examination is a flight test, which is conducted in an aircraft by a qualified Pilot Examiner. The second examination is a written test, administered by Transport Canada.

There are specific time constraints associated with these examinations. The flight test must be successfully completed within two years of passing the written examination. Conversely, the written examination must be completed no later than one year after passing the flight test.

The Private Pilot training program is structured to adequately prepare students for these two crucial examinations. Flight training is designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to excel in the flight test, and it is typically conducted in a one-on-one setting with a Flight Instructor. On the other hand, ground school, which covers theoretical knowledge, is usually conducted in a traditional classroom environment.

It’s imperative to note that all training activities must adhere to the standards established by Transport Canada, and the aircraft used for training must meet the maintenance standards prescribed by Transport Canada for certified commercial aircraft.

Requirements for Entrance (Prerequisites) and Completion

Before students are permitted to fly an aircraft solo under the supervision of a Flight Instructor, they are required to obtain a Student Pilot Permit, which essentially serves as their initial pilot license.

To secure a Student Pilot Permit, candidates must possess a valid Category 1 or Category 3 Medical Certificate. Specifically, Category 1 Medical Certificates are mandatory for those aspiring to become Commercial Pilots, whereas Category 3 Medical Certificates are necessary for Private Pilots. For students aiming for careers as Commercial Pilots, obtaining a Category 1 Medical Certificate is imperative.

The age criteria differ for various pilot licenses:

  • The minimum age for obtaining a Student Pilot Permit is 14 years.

  • To qualify for a Private Pilot License, individuals must be at least 17 years old.

  • In contrast, the minimum age requirement for eligibility for a Commercial Pilot License is 18 years.

​Additionally, in compliance with the standards set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all international students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language, known as the Aviation Language Proficiency Test (ALPT).

Transport Canada's Minimum Requirements for Completion

Knowledge Requirements—Ground School Instruction

To qualify for a Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane (PPAER), candidates are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of ground school instruction for private pilot aeroplanes. This instruction should encompass at least one of the following subjects:

  1. Canadian Aviation Regulations

  2. Aerodynamics and Theory of Flight

  3. Meteorology

  4. Airframes, Engines, and Systems

  5. Flight Instruments

  6. Radio and Electronic Theory

  7. Navigation

  8. Flight Operations

  9. Licensing Requirements

  10. Human Factors, including pilot decision-making.

​Knowledge Requirements—Written Examination

In addition, all applicants must achieve a minimum score of 80% on the Ground School Final Exam to receive a recommendation from their flight instructor. Furthermore, a minimum score of 60% is required in each of the following four mandatory subject areas, as well as for the overall written examination Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane (PPAER):

  1. Air Law—covering regulations, rules, and orders, air traffic services, practices, procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the licence.

  2. Navigation—comprising navigation, radio aids, and electronic theory.

  3. Meteorology

  4. Aeronautics—General Knowledge—encompassing airframes, engines, and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments, and flight operations.

Experience Requirements

Candidates pursuing a Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane must complete a minimum of 45 hours of flight time for private pilot training in aeroplanes. This training should be conducted under the supervision of an individual holding a Flight Instructor Rating—Aeroplane. Of the 45 hours, a maximum of 5 hours may take place on an approved aeroplane simulator or Flight Training Device (FTD).

The flight training itself must include:

  1. 17 hours of dual instruction flight time, including at least 3 hours of cross-country flight time and 5 hours of instrument time (with a maximum of 3 hours in the FTD).

  2. 12 hours of solo flight time, including 5 hours of cross-country flight time, featuring a flight covering a minimum of 150 nautical miles and incorporating 2 full stop landings at points other than the departure location.

Skill Requirements

Within 12 months before applying for the licence, candidates for a Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane must successfully complete a flight test while serving as the pilot-in-command of an aeroplane. This test must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Private Pilot Flight Test Guide.

Estimated Cost

  • Estimated Program Costs
    Please be aware that the following estimated costs are based on Transport Canada’s minimum requirements. It is crucial to understand that individual costs may vary due to various factors. Additionally, these prices are subject to change without prior notice to allow the school to respond promptly to significant fluctuations in aviation fuel costs.


Aircraft Type: Cessna-172 M Model

  • Aircraft Hourly Rate: $179/hr

  • Flight Instructor Hourly Rate: $81.50/hr

Flight Instruction Breakdown:

  • 17 Hours Dual Instruction: $4,428.50
  • 25 Hours Solo Flight Time: $4,475.00
  • Sub-Total for Air Instruction: $8,903.50


Simulator Type: PFC-FTD

  • Optional Simulator Rentals:

    • PFC-V: $105/hr

    • Redbird: $115/hr

  • Simulator Hourly Rate: $95/hr

  • Flight Instructor Hourly Rate: $81.50/hr

  • 10 Hours Ground Briefing: $815

  • PPL Ground School Course: $500

  • Books and Supplies (Approximate): $500

  • Flight Tests & Transport Canada Fees: $530 (Note: These fees are NOT paid directly to CPA)

  • Medical Exam Fees (Approximate): $150 (Note: These fees are NOT paid directly to CPA)

  • Sub-Total for Ground School & Administration: $3,024.50


  • Air Instruction and Student Practice: $8,903.50

  • Ground School and Administration: $3,024.50


Please keep in mind that these figures are estimates, and individual circumstances may lead to variations in costs. We appreciate your understanding of potential fluctuations in pricing due to changes in aviation fuel costs.

Guide to Pilot Training Costs

For the benefit of those who are embarking on their pilot training journey, here’s a guide to some of the concepts included in the cost breakdown provided above:

  1. Dual Air Instruction: This term refers to flight instruction that occurs during a training flight and is conducted under the direct guidance and supervision of a Flight Instructor. During dual air instruction, the student pilot is not alone in the aircraft.

  2. Dual Simulator Instruction: This denotes instruction provided by a Flight Instructor in Coastal Pacific Aviation’s Flight Simulators. Simulator training is a valuable tool for learning and practicing various flight scenarios in a controlled environment.

  3. Solo Practice: Solo practice involves a training flight where the student pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft. However, these flights are conducted under the continued supervision of a Flight Instructor to ensure safety and progression in training.

  4. Preparatory Ground Instruction: Preparatory ground instruction refers to classroom-based instruction, typically conducted on a one-on-one basis. This instruction prepares students for specific air exercises they will undertake during flight training.

  5. Pre-flight Briefings: Before each flight lesson or solo practice, pre-flight briefings occur. These sessions involve the Flight Instructor providing ground instruction and reviewing the flight plan and objectives with the student pilot.

  6. Post-flight De-briefing: After the completion of a flight, there is a post-flight de-briefing session. This involves a discussion and review between the student and Flight Instructor to assess the performance during the flight and address any questions or concerns.

  7. Ground School Instruction: Ground school instruction is a collective classroom-based learning experience. It is typically led by a Ground school Instructor and focuses on preparing students for the written examination requirements associated with obtaining a pilot’s license.

  8. Tutorial Instruction: Tutorial instruction involves informal meetings of Ground school students under the supervision of Teaching Assistants. Teaching Assistants are typically experienced students who have been appointed to lead these classroom tutorials, providing additional support to fellow students.

Understanding these terms will help students navigate their pilot training program effectively and make informed decisions about their training expenses.

Essential Considerations for the Estimated Costs of Pilot

It’s essential to acknowledge that predicting the exact training costs for pilot training can be challenging due to variations in training frequency among students and differences in their skill levels, both in terms of flight training and written examination preparation.

For students who encounter difficulties in preparing for the written examination, the primary impact is often delayed completion. While delayed completion may incur additional expenses, such as food and housing while continuing as a student, these costs are typically much lower than the expenses associated with adding more practice flights to the air training.

In all cases, the completion times for pilot training are based on the flight time required for students to attain the necessary pilot skills that meet the Canadian flight test standards outlined in the Private Pilot Licence Flight Test Guide. As students progress to advanced pilot training, such as the Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi-engine Class Rating, Group 1 (Multi-engine) Instrument Rating, and Flight Instructor Rating, costs tend to become more stable and predictable.

So, what is the best approach to manage the variable costs associated with Private Pilot Licence training? We strongly encourage all Private Pilot Students to maintain an additional $8,000 in reserve for financial planning purposes. This reserve serves to accommodate the diverse rates of learning and varying skill levels among students.

Moreover, it’s important to note that training costs can be significantly reduced through consistent flying, effective self-study, and thorough preparation for flights. By staying committed to regular practice and self-improvement, students can optimize their training experience and manage costs more efficiently.

Essential Considerations for International Students

As part of our admission process for international students, we kindly request a non-refundable administrative fee of $390, payable to Coastal Pacific Aviation. This fee is allocated to cover administrative and courier expenses, which include the preparation and issuance of your Letter of Acceptance. This Letter of Acceptance is a crucial document for your Study Permit and Visa application.

For a comprehensive resource of additional information tailored to international students, we invite you to explore the International Students’ Page on our website.

Please note that the Private Pilot License program falls outside the purview of approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training. Consequently, PTIB did not conduct a review of this particular program.

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