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BCIT, one of Canada’s largest aviation training schools, Pacific Flying Club, and Chinook Helicopters Ltd. have joined together their experience and expertise to offer a unique training opportunity for men and women who wish to become commercial rotary-wing pilots.

Fall 2021 delivery mode: blended

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning. While some of your coursework will take place online, there will also be in-person sessions.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We have put measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see the BCIT COVID-19 page for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.

Technology requirements

  • You will need access to a personal computer with video and microphone for the online portion of your program.
  • See Student Technology and Discounts for general technology recommendations and negotiated discounts from BCIT partners.

Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

Safety on campus

  • Because this program will be delivered in a blended format, you will be required to attend campus in person. Our Occupational Health and Safety team has assessed our classrooms and labs/shops to ensure we practice safe operating procedures in accordance with public health and safety guidelines as well as WorkSafeBC standards for post-secondary institutions.

Services and support

  • Our Student Services staff continue to offer advice, care, and support as needed to optimize your learning experience. Many services, including Student Health Services and Counselling and Student Development are offering phone or virtual appointments to BCIT students.


This fully integrated program brings fixed and rotary-wing flight training together with industry-focused academic training to provide learners with a strong set of aviation industry skills and knowledge. BCIT, Pacific Flying Club, and Chinook Helicopters are closely tied to the Aerospace Industry of Canada, Air Transport Association of Canada, the British Columbia Aviation Council, and the Canada General Aviation Association.

Pacific Flying Club (PFC) has been training pilots for over 50 years with a modern fleet of aircraft and simulator equipment. PFC is one of the premier flight training schools in Canada with students attending training from across Canada and around the world. PFC is located at Boundary Bay Airport in Delta, British Columbia.

Since 1982, Chinook Helicopters Ltd. has provided basic and specialized advanced flight and ground training to a local, national, and global community.  It is Canada’s largest and most respected ab initio commercial helicopter flight school. In addition to training Canadian pilots, Chinook Helicopters has substantial experience training students from European, Asian, and Australasian countries.  Chinook Helicopters is located in a large modern facility at the Abbotsford International Airport in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.

Pacific Flying Club and Chinook Helicopters Ltd. hold accreditation with the Private Career Training Institutions Agency of British Columbia (PCTIA).

Learners in this program will complete flight training required to qualify for a fixed wing Private Pilot Licence (PPL) in the first two terms of study then proceed to the rotary-wing Commercial Pilot Licence training, all in concert with an aviation Diploma.

The program

The program is 57 weeks in duration and is offered over three terms of study. It is delivered at the BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus near Vancouver International Airport (YVR), the Pacific Flying Club at the Boundary Bay Airport, and at Chinook Helicopters Ltd. at the Abbotsford International Airport. This program is one of the fastest ways in Canada to qualify for a commercial rotary-wing pilot licence while attaining a post-secondary diploma. The program follows training standards prescribed by both Transport Canada and the aviation industry.

Entrance Requirements

We strongly recommend applicants complete the Transport Canada Category 1 Medical Examination first, as that process takes the longest time to process.

Costs & Supplies


Program Details

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Faculty & staff

Advisory committee

  • Clark Duimel
  • Pat Kennedy
  • Cathy Press
  • Glenn Oerzen (Chair)


How do I complete the Transport Canada Category One Aviation Medical?

  • It is preferred that candidates submit a valid Transport Canada Category One aviation medical. An approved Transport Canada Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME) must complete the physical examination. Go to the Transport Canada webpage for the list of approved CAMEs in Canada or abroad.
  • If you cannot obtain the Category One aviation medical then you may submit a Transport Canada Category Three aviation medical with a letter from the CAME stating that the medical will be converted to Category One at the time of renewal.
  • A Category One medical is required for Terms 2, 3 and 4.
  • Due to Transport Canada’s lengthy processing times, please start this process as early as possible. Once received, submit your Transport Canada Category One Medical Certificate with your online application.
  • CAMEs can submit the documentation to Transport Canada using an electronic system called Medical Examination Reports (MERs). It is advisable that you check with the CAME that you are booking your medical appointment with to ensure they submit all documentation electronically. If they send via Canada Post or facsimile, it may result in delays.


Do I need to be financially prepared?

Yes, it is important to explore additional funding options including but not limited to Student Aid BC or Student Line of Credit (banking institution). Be financially prepared for the cost (tuition, books, uniforms, flying fees and other expenses) of this program.


How can I strengthen my application?

  • Attend an Information Session prior to applying for this program
  • Study mechanical and abstract reasoning
  • Book a familiarization flight with a local flying school of your choice
  • Elaborate in the Mandatory Applicant Questionnaire
  • Show passion for the industry by conducting some research related to industry trends
  • Excellent written and oral English skills
  • A valid driver’s license in BC


What is the Multi Mini Interview (MMI)?

Each interviewee will meet four different interviewers over a period of one hour. Each interview is 15 minutes in duration. This will be repeated four times. It is important that the interviewee listens to the questions and responds without going off track. The questions are behavioural based focusing on communication, leadership, teamwork, ethics, problem solving and decision making. The interview team consists of faculty, program administration and industry partners.


If accepted, how can I be successful in the program?

  • Demonstrate good working knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) computer software
  • Strong hand and foot skills
  • Familiarization with mechanics (motorized vehicles)
  • Be familiar with airport operations
  • Basic knowledge of physics
  • Be prepared for academic rigour
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • A love of learning/studying/being curious
  • Comfortable accepting constructive feedback
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Confident but cautious
  • Can follow standards and rules


Where do I learn more about students, graduates and recent job postings?

Go to the Aviation Operations Programs blog.


Contact Us

For more information about the Airline and Flight Operations program, please contact the Chief Instructor, Cheryl Cahill.

Questions or comments?


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