Recreational Pilot Permit

The Recreational Pilot Permit is a more affordable way to start flying but it has a lot of restrictions that make it very inconvenient to use. You can fly only within Canada with one person as a passenger and during daylight hours and when visual flight rules (VFR) conditions are met. No worries though, it is easy to upgrade to Private Pilot Licence (PPL). You can read more about Private Pilot Licence here.

There are not too many reasons why the Recreational Pilot Permit would be recommended by us. You can start with the Recreational Pilot Permit if  you are under 17 years of age and wish to start flying because a Private Pilot Licence requires to be hold by person of 17 years old or older. Another reason could be shorter training time and lower cost but it gives the  holder less privileges in comparison to the Private Pilot License.


  • Must be 16 years of age to be licensed however training can begin at an earlier age
  • Category 4 Medical

Course Requirements
Based on minimum Transport Canada requirements

  • Minimum 25 hours flight time including:
    • 20 hours dual instruction (including 2 hours cross country)
    • 5 hours solo
  • 4 hours ground school
  • Passing grade on Transport Canada written exam and flight test

Length of Course

The recreational pilot course can take anywhere between 2-4 months to complete depending on whether the student is full-time or part-time.

Privileges and Limitations

  • The holder of a Recreational may operate any Canadian registered single engine non-high performance aircraft
  • Flight may only be conducted during daylight hours and visual flight rules (VFR) conditions
  • A Recreational Pilot Permit will only allow the holder to carry one passenger
  • Flight may only be conducted in Canada