Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP) – Aeroplane

Ref. CAR 421.22

The Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP) allows the permit holder to act as pilot in command of an aircraft designed with 4 seats or less to carry no more than one passenger anywhere in Canada under daylight VFR weather conditions. This permit is ideal for the recreational pilot or a young pilot who does not yet meet the age requirements for the Private Pilot Licence (PPL).


You must be a minimum of 16 years of age to be issued a Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP), but you can begin flight training at a younger age. The Student Pilot Permit (SPP) can be issued at the age of 14 which allows the holder to fly the aircraft solo (without an instructor on board)!


Prior to beginning your flight training for your Recreational Pilot Permit, you will need to get a Category 1 or 3 aviation medical certificate from a Transport Canada-approved Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME). If you are not planning to fly professionally as a Commercial pilot, a Category 3 medical is all that you need. Below is a list of approved list of medical examiners in the London, Ontario area:

Dr. Bates

  • Office: 519-438-5101
  • Address: #208-190 Wortley Road

Dr. Chapeskie

  • Office: 519-461-0776
  • Address: Box 130, 21816 Fairview Road (Thorndale)

Dr. Malizia

  • Office: 519-455-1990
  • Address: 1033 Dundas Street

Dr. Marshall

  • Office: 519-245-3590
  • Address: 31 Caradoc Street North

Dr. Siu

  • Office: 519-858-4694
  • Address: 827 Richmond Street

There is also the option to acquie a Category 4 medical from a licensed physician in Canada, but we recommend getting a Category 1 or 3 aviation medical in case you plan to upgrade to a Private Pilot Licence at a later date.


There is currently no Transport Canada requirement to complete formal ground school training for the Recreational Pilot Permit written examination, but we highly recommend it. You will be required to get a minimum of 60% in each of the following four mandatory areas as well as in the overall written examination and can write either the RPP (RPPAE) or PPL (PPAER) Transport Canada exam:

  • Air Law: Regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the permit

  • Navigation - navigation, radio aids and electronic theory

  • Meteorology

  • Aeronautics - General Knowledge: Airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments, flight operations and human factors

The ground school training can be completed before, during or after the flight training portion. We recommend that ground school be taken at the same time as flight training so that you can apply the knowledge learned in class to your flying lessons. What you learn in theory in ground school you can put to practical use in the airplane and the lesson will be better remembered.


You will be required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of recreational pilot flight training and the flight training shall include a minimum of:

  • 15 hours dual instruction flight time, including a minimum of 2 hours cross-country flight time
  • 5 hours solo flight time

The above are Transport Canada minimum requirements - the average RPP flight training time in Canada is between 35-40 hours.


You will be required to successfully complete a RPP or PPL flight test as pilot-in-command with a Transport Canada-approved pilot examiner


With a Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP) you will be permitted to fly as pilot in command of Canadian-registered, single-engine aircraft (maximum 4 seat aircraft) anywhere in Canada only under daylight VFR conditions with a maximum of 1 passenger (you are not permitted to fly for hire or reward)


2.5 Months if flying full time (minimum 3 session per week)

6 Months if flying part time (minimum 1 sessions per week)


Candidate must hold a Category 1 or 3 or 4 Aviation Medical

Minimum 16 years of age (14 years of age for first solo)

Your Flight Training

Flight training consists of dual training (where you fly the aircraft with an instructor) and solo training (where you practice flying the aircraft on your own under the supervision of your flight instructor). Before every flight, you will sit down with your flight instructor for a pre-flight briefing where you will discuss what air exercises are to be flown and how you will perform them. Training flights generally last about one hour and how much of that time you will spend at the controls yourself depends on what phase of your training you are in. Both you and your flight instructor have full sets of aircraft controls in front of your seats. Your first few training flights will familiarize you with the controls of the aircraft and you will have control once the aircraft has reached a safe altitude. After a few more training flights you will learn how to conduct the takeoff and landing and will very quickly start to do all of the flying.

Once you are comfortable and safe with the airplane (usually after about 15 hours of flying), your instructor will send you up flying on your own for your first solo flight. Your first solo is just a short flight, but any pilot will tell you that their first solo is one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of their life. Before you can go for your first solo you must have obtained your aviation medical, radio licence and passed a short exam on air regulations (called the PSTAR exam). After you have gone solo, the remainder of your training will be a combination of dual training to learn more advanced sequences and solo training to practice what you have learned. As soon as you and your flight instructor agree that you are ready, you will complete a practical RPP flight test with a certified examiner. If you are successful with the flight test and also pass the Transport Canada written exam, then you will be issued with your Recreational Pilot Permit!


Minimum requirements - additional training may required

Prices are subject to change without notice

Average time to RPP in Canada is approximately 35-40 hours