Private Pilot License Requirements in 2024

March 26, 2022

The private pilot license is the most common Canadian pilot license for hobby flyers looking to enjoy the skies on weekends solo or while taking friends and family onboard. It is also the first license any pilot must earn before being able to train towards the Commercial Pilot License or the Airline transport Pilot License. The minimum requirements are as follows:

Age to Earn Private Pilot License

The minimum age for a Private Pilot License is 17 years old. However, this is for the issue of the license. Pilots can begin training as young as they wish, usually no earlier than 13 or 14 years old. Students can complete all licensing requirements before age 17, but cannot be issued a license until they reach this age.

Medical Requirement

The minimum medical required for the issuance of a Private Pilot License is a Category 3 medical. Pilots who wish to later pursue a commercial pilot license or an airline transport pilot license are recommended to initially work towards a Category 1 medical – this is to ensure they meet the higher and more stringent medical requirements. We have an article about the Transport Canada Aviation Medical available for all to read.

Flight Training Experience

Minimum 45 hours consisting of the following:

  • 17 hours dual flight instruction including not less than 3 hours cross-country flight time and 5 hours of instrument time
  • 12 hours solo flight time including 5 hours cross country flight time

These are the minimum hours required, a more realistic time schedule would be as follows:

Total flight time of 65-70 hours consisting of

  • 50 hours of dual flight instruction
  • 20 hours of solo flight time

In Canada, the average time to complete a Private Pilot License is in the neighbourhood of around 72 hours. If pilots study hard with a Canadian Flight Trainers course and put in a lot of effort in their flying, they can finish at less hours and save more money.

Ground School

A ground school consisting of minimum 40 hours classroom time covering the following subjects is required for the PPL.

Air regulations, aerodynamics/theory of flight, meteorology, airframes, engines and systems, flight instruments, radio and electronic theory, navigation, flight operations and human factors.

Check out Canadian Flight Trainers online PPL ground school.

The ground school prepares you for the manditory Transport Canada private pilot license written exam – PPAER.


At the end of your training you will be required to pass a flight test to prove your skill meets the requirements set out in the Transport Canada – Private Pilot License – aeroplane – TP 13723. Our online ground school courses also help pilots prepare for their flight tests by walking them through ground briefings and flight exercises.


Once you are a licensed private pilot it will allow you fly any single engine non-high performance aeroplane anywhere in Canada or USA during the day. You are able to carry passengers with you and add ratings such as an instrument, night or multi-engine rating to advance your flying. However, you cannot fly and be paid with a PPL.

The private pilot license is the perfect license for a leisure pilot looking to fly with friends and family, it is also great for person travel to get around the country. Now you know the realistic approach to a PPL.

Private pilot license
Private pilot license


The private pilot license can be very expensive if not done properly and within a certain amount of time. The average cost to earn a private pilot license in Canada is around $17,000 in 2022. This number can vary depending on how well prepared a student is before their flight, how much time they spend studying, and how well they can physically fly the aircraft.

Canadian Flight Trainers ground schools can help you save money by preparing you before your flights and lowering all of your costs.