Private Pilot Licence Program

Successful completion of the Private Pilot Program at Acadia College will lead to qualification as a Private Pilot Licence issued by Transport Canada, as well as a Certificate of Qualification issued by Acadia College. 

The Private Pilot Licence is also the prerequisite for entry into Commercial Pilot Licence flight training, and is therefore the first phase of Professional Pilot training.

Private Pilots can fly any aeroplanes provided they receive specialized training—this includes any multi-engine aircraft, seaplanes, and high-performance aircraft—and can flying in any condition of flight, including day, night or in cloud (referred to as instrument flight conditions) provided their Private Pilot Licence holds the proper additional ratings. All Private Pilots begin with blanket flight privileges with includes any single-engine, non-high performance aeroplane that requires a single pilot for flight operation.

Overview of Training

All pilot training has two parallel components: classroom training (groundschool) which leads to the completion of the qualifying written examination conducted by Transport Canada, and flight training in the aircraft, which leads to the completion of a qualifying flight test also conducted by Transport Canada.  

Acadia College runs a regular cycle of groundschool classes though out the year.  The full time Private Pilot Groundschool classes typically begin the third week of January and the first week of July, while the part-time evening classes begin the first week of February, the first week of June, and the first week of September.  Here are the Private Pilot Groundschool start dates for 2023 and 2024:

Start Dates

Full-Time Start Dates

    • January 22, 2024 (Spring Semester)
    • July 8, 2024 (Summer Semester)
    • January 20, 2025 (Spring Semester)
    • July 7,  2025 (Summer Semester)

Part-Time Start Dates

    • September 5, 2023 (Fall Semester)
    • February 6, 2024 (Spring Semester)
    • June 4, 2024 (Summer Semester)
    • September 10, 2024 (Fall Semester)
    • February 10, 2025 (Spring Semester)
    • June 10, 2023 (Summer Semester)

To register for the groundschools, simply contact Acadia College approximately three weeks before the start date to reserve a seat.


The minimum age for a Private Pilot Licence is seventeen years of age.   The minimum age to solo practice flying under the supervision of a Flight Instructor is fourteen years of age.

Approximately 30% to 40% of Private Pilot training entails solo practice flying, where the student is the sole occupant of the aircraft under the supervision of a Flight Instructor. 

To conduct a solo flight, student pilots must hold a Student Pilot Permit.  Prior to obtaining a Student Pilot Permit, students must successfully complete a Transport Canada pre-solo written examination on basic flight operations, and must hold a Class 1 or 3 Medical Certificate.  Students seeking careers as Commercial Pilots should obtain a Category 1 Medical Certificate.

In accordance with requirements established by Transport Canada, all pilots—including Private Pilots—must demonstrate English language proficiency.

Transport Canada’s Minimum Requirements for Completion

Knowledge Requirements—Ground School Instruction

Candidates shall have completed a minimum of 40 hours private pilot aeroplane ground school instruction including at least one of the following subjects:

Canadian Aviation Regulations,
Aerodynamics and Theory of Flight,
Airframes, Engines and Systems,
Flight Instruments,
Radio and Electronic Theory,
Flight Operations,
Licensing Requirements, and
Human Factors, including pilot decision-making.

Knowledge Requirements—Written Examination

Candidates shall have obtained a minimum of 60% in each of the following four mandatory subjects areas as well as in the overall written examination Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane (PPAER):

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

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

    3. Meteorology, and

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

Transport Canada’s qualifying written examination for the Private Pilot Licence is conducted in accordance with the Study and Reference Guide for Written—Examinations for the Private Pilot Licence Aeroplane.

Experience Requirements

  1. Candidates for the Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane shall have complete a minimum of 45 hours flight time private pilot training in aeroplanes under the direction and supervision of the holder of a Flight Instructor Rating—Aeroplane.  A Maximum 5 of the 45 hours may be conducted on an approved aeroplane simulator or Flight Training Device (FTD).

  2. The flight training shall include a minimum of 

    • 17 hours dual instruction flight time, including a minimum of 3 hours cross-country flight time and 5 hours of instrument time of which a maximum of 3 hours may be in the FTD; and
    • 12 hours solo flight time, including 5 hours cross-country flight time with a flight of a minimum of 150 nautical miles which shall include 2 full stop landings at points other than the point of departure.

Skill Requirements

Within the 12 months preceding the date of application for the license, a candidate for a Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane shall successfully complete a flight test as pilot-in-command of an aeroplane, in accordance with the Private Pilot Flight Test Guide.

Flight Safety Rules and Procedures

All Acadia College flight training operations are conducted in accordance with the Flight Safety Rules and Procedures.

Private Pilot License Estimated Cost

Ground School

Hours: 40 hours

Total: $ 475.00

Air Instruction

Dual Flying

Hours:  17 hours @  $275.00/hour
Total:  $ 4675.00

Solo Flying

Hours:  28 hours @ $205.00/hour
Total:  : $ 5740.00

Ground Briefing

Hours:  10 hours @ $70.00/hour
Total: $ 700.00

Total Flight Training Costs:  $10515.00

Other Estimated Fees

    • Application Fee for Canadian Students:  $150.00
    • Applications Fee for International Students:  $350.00
    • Administration Fee for International Students:  $500.00

Additional Information regarding Pilot Training Costs

Importantly, training costs vary with the frequency of training and each student’s skill, and the training time required for students to meet the qualifying performance standards cannot therefore be predicted.  While the above estimated costs, based on Transport Canada’s minimum requirement for a Private Pilot License (45 hours), are possible, the average completion for full time students is between 45 and 50 hours, and the average completion of part-time students is between 60 and 80 hours.   All Private Pilot Students are encouraged to retain an additional $5,000 in reserve for financial planning purposes so as provide for varied rates of learning and varied levels of skill.  In all cases training costs can be substantially reduced in conjunction with regular flying and effective student self-study and preparation for flights.

Prepayment of fees is not required.  Students pay tuition and aircraft unitizations at the conclusion of training flights, and pay groundschool tuition at the beginning of the session.  

All flight schools in the Province British Columbia are required by law to charge the Provincial Sales Tax (7%) to all dual training flights, and they must charge both the PST and the GST (5%) to all solo training flights.  Books and pilot supplies are charged both GST and PST. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Debit Cards are accepted, but there is a 3% surcharge on credit card payments.

Effective January 1, 2023, the aircraft utilization rates for Acadia College students are as follows:

Cessna 152:  $194 per hour
Cessna 172:  $220 per hour

Importantly, Acadia College DOES NOT APPLY A “FUEL SURCHARGE”.   Owing to fluctuational fuel costs, aircraft utilization rates for students is subject to change without notice.

For additional information on pilot training costs, contact the Chief Flying Instructor.