"To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home." – Anon
I saw the above quote, etched on a metal plaque, in a friend's home. Need I mention that he is an aviator. This friend served in the Indian Navy as a fighter pilot. After wearing the uniform for 20 years, he retired and went on to join a private carrier, and is now a captain, flying commercial aircraft.
'It is a wonderful life's; he says, 'lots of money, and a new city, every day'. That is true of people in the aviation field, one day they are in London and the next, in New York. They have lunch in Tokyo and dinner in Singapore. Being a pilot equates to flying high, in the skies, and as a metaphor. They earn handsomely, as well, over six lakhs per month, plus crew bonus.
Some people look at flying as just another occupation. However, it is no ordinary job. To pilot that large metal machine, requires skill, discipline and perfect health. Did you know a discipline in medicine exists, especially for aviators? That is because pilots have to be fit in body and mind. Yes, it is a challenging job – pilots cannot follow a regular sleep pattern, and they miss out on family time, and home-cooked food. They are exposed to elements, like low pressure and radiation, that put them at risk, which is why we have aviation medicine.
And if you think getting a pilot's license is easy, you need to rethink. Pilots put rigorous training and thousands of flying hours before they earn their pilot license and proudly wear the wings of an aviator.
Pilot training is expensive, but you can still live your dream of becoming a commercial pilot, by training for a pilot's license in Canada. There are pilot courses in India too, but training abroad gives you international exposure, and it is a whole new experience. Students prefer to study in Canada, for the easy Visa norms. Canadian degrees are recognised in India, for instance, the Bar Council of India recognises Canadian law degrees. Moreover, relaxed policies make it easier for students to get work Visa in Canada. Several Indian students now choose Canada, Australia and New Zealand for higher studies instead of the UK and the US. We'll show you how to get admission into a legitimate flight training programme in Canada.
About Exact AirExact Air offers recognised flight training programmes to international students and has one specially designed to suit aspirants from India. The pilot training academy boasts of the best learning environments, so students master the finer skills of flying that help them in their career as commercial pilots in India.
Professional pilot course durationThe Professional Pilot Course at Exact Air is usually a year-long training programme, divided into two specific training areas. The Professional Pilot Course takes up to 9 months, on an average. This is followed by Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR) course, essential for acquiring expertise and experience for approaches in adverse weather conditions and fly an aircraft in Class A airspace. The MEIR course typically concludes the commercial flight training programme.
Best time to beginThere is no specific start date for the programme; students can enrol and start the training, at their convenience. However, the institute recommends that students join in either February or August.
Students must note that the 12-month training schedule is demanding and rigorous. The intensive training schedule requires both commitment and endurance and must be completed without breaks in the training.
Prerequisites for admissionEducational qualification:
Canadian flying schools require students to have 12 years of schooling, similar to our 10+2 pattern, with Maths and Physics as compulsory subjects. In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) requires students aspiring to become commercial pilots to have a minimum education of 10+2 (SSC – Senior School Certificate) with mathematics and physics in the +2. Additionally, students must have a working knowledge of the English language and should be able to communicate in it, as well as read and write.
The medical fitness standards in the aviation sector are very high. A mandatory medical examination is required before admission. The aviation medical test is called Class 1 Aviation Medical and is conducted by an MD in Aviation Medicine. In India, it would be someone who has qualified the PG in Aviation Medicine from the Institute of Aerospace Medicine. The Canadian authorities (Transport Canada) have an approved list of Aviation Medical Examiners, and Exact Air accepts medical examination reports attested by them.
The Class 1 Aviation Medical can be carried out in India, before arrival to Canada. Doctors based in India are also on the panel of approved aviation medicine specialist. Alternatively, students can opt for the medical examination to be carried out in Canada, upon their arrival to the country, and the training academy will facilitate the process.
Registration and admission feeTo enrol in Exact Air's professional pilot course, you need to apply online and pay the initial security deposit for your admission to be confirmed. The admission fee is $2,000CAD and can be through numerous money transfer modes, such as wire transfer, cheques, credit cards (only MasterCard or Visa) or debit cards. Cash deposits are also accepted. The money will be held in the student's account maintained at the training school.
On receipt of the funds, the flight school will acknowledge it and mail the student the Acceptance Letter, which approves the registration into the professional pilot training programme.
Cost of the programme: The basic training programme without taxes is $33,782CAD. Additional costs are not included. The Transport Canada fee is approximately $850CAD and training in Cessna-172 costs an additional $15CAD/hr. The exact course fee and the cost of the training programme are available on request. You can contact the flight school for details. Contact details are provided below. The price of the programme will go up depending on the endorsements. Check the list of endorsements below –
Student accommodationStudents can make their arrangements, but the flight school also assists international students in finding accommodation. However, Indian students prefer to stay together, close to the airport. The general practice is that a couple of students move in together, in a rented house, and share the expenses. They cook their meals, thus saving on that front, as well.
Those looking for independent rooms will find a lot of private homes, renting apartments, to international students. These homes are in the vicinity of the flight school, and some offer meals as part of the deal. More like a Bed and Breakfast, kind of place, but there is dinner too.
Student visa for Indian studentsYou will need a student visa to enter Canada. There are procedures involved, and as long as there is nothing amiss with your credentials, getting a student visa shouldn't be a problem.
Check the Canadian Immigration and Customs site and the section for International students on the Quebec Immigration site, for latest updates on how to obtain a student visa to enter Canada. Remember, these visas are exclusively for students, and you will need a confirmed admission before you can apply for a visa.
Read through the instructions and ensure that you comply with everything that is mentioned on the website. Fill the details accurately; don't lie or conceal details. Give enough time for the immigration office to process your visa; it can take from a couple of weeks to a month. Hence, begin the application process way in time, so you have your student permit before your scheduled departure. We advise you to get started, at least four months in advance, so everything goes smoothly. And a visa fee will be applicable.
Students will need the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Govt. of Quebec and a student visa from the Govt. of Canada.
You will be required to submit the following documents:
Commercial Pilot License (CPL)The commercial pilot (CPL) license is a permit that allows the license owner to fly a single pilot aircraft or fly as co-pilot another a multi-crew aeroplane. The training programme at Exact Air includes night rating. Getting a commercial pilots license is the first step to getting an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), which allows you to fly and be in command of an aircraft, with more than nine seats.
The Canadian Commercial Pilot License (CPL) is approved and recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and thereby by DGCA.
The minimum age for the course is 18 years. Students must have the Class 1 aviation medical certificate, declaring them fit, before the start of the flying training.
The theory segment of the course is divided into three parts –
The flight trainings happen as two parts –
Important links:Exact Air Official Website
Govt. of Canada Immigration guidelines
Please post your doubts and queries in the comment section. We will try and answer them at the earliest.
"To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home." – Anon
Please let me know the training costs to obtain a Commercial Pilot License training.