Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certificate

Offered in partnership with Okanagan Mountain Helicopters, this one-year program is in conjunction with Transport Canada’s guidelines/examinations and incorporates Business Administration courses that are applicable to the commercial helicopter industry.

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Student helicopter pilot standing beside an orange open door helicopter with a headset on.


  • Kelowna
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  • Full program offered
  • Partial program offered



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Tuition and fees

2023-24: ~$69,000 (two semesters plus 12 academic credits)

Program details

The Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certificate (CHPC) will complement the objectives of the Commercial Aviation program, allowing students from both airplane and helicopter courses to share common ground school courses. This will educate students with the unique challenges of operating helicopters in Canada and internationally.

This certificate follows the Transport Canada approved curriculum and shares courses with the Commercial Aviation Diploma. This includes fundamentals and advanced skills required for commercial helicopter pilots. Students will complete the program with the skills to take the Transport Canada Commercial Helicopter Pilots written and flight tests.

Okanagan College continues to incorporate business development skills with aviation course so students can advance their professionalism and work ethic within future career positions. By blending commercial helicopter pilot training skills with the Okanagan College School of Business, graduates will enter the industry with more advanced education than that of a general pilot.

This certificate will require two full semesters over one year with a total of 40 credits.

Graduates that successfully complete the Transport Canada written and in flight exams and accumulate a minimum of 100 hours of flight time, will be ready for employment as commercial helicopter pilots.

Campus Start date Schedule
Kelowna Sep. 04, 2024

Admission requirements

  • B.C. secondary school graduation (or its equivalent), or mature student status.
  • English 12 with minimum 60% or alternatives.
  • Students graduating from secondary school in or prior to 2012:
    • Principles of Mathematics 11, or an equivalent Advanced Level Adult Basic Education mathematics course; or a minimum grade of 70% in Introductory Mathematics 11; or a minimum grade of 60% in Applications of Mathematics 11.
  • Students entering Grade 10 in or after 2010 and/or completing the new mathematics curriculum:
    • A minimum of 60% in one of Pre-calculus Grade 11, Foundations of Mathematics Grade 11, or Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics Grade 11, Workplace Mathematics 11, or the equivalent Advanced Level Adult Basic Education mathematics course.
  • Category 1 Aviation Medical.
  • Letter of recommendation from the Okanagan Mountain Helicopters FTU indicating successful completion of a personal interview, and proof of financial ability.
  • Weight restriction of 200 lb or less, due to aircraft weight limitations.

Program outline


Aviation and helicopter courses must be taken in the prescribed order and must be taken in concurrent blocks each semester as listed below. Semester 2 must be taken immediately after Semester 1. Students unable to meet this requirement must withdraw from the program.

Semester 1

AVIA 104 - Introduction to Aviation Theory
AVIA 105 - Aviation Language Proficiency
HELI 110 - Pilot Skills Lab I
AVIA 112 - Navigation and Air Regulations I
AVIA 113 - Meteorology I
AVIA 114 - Flight and Aircraft Systems I

Semester 2

AVIA 122 - Navigation and Air Regulations II
AVIA 123 - Meteorology II
AVIA 124 - Flight and Aircraft Systems II
HELI 120 - Pilot Skills Lab II
HELI 130 - Pilot Skills Lab III
AVIA 226 - Human Factors
AVIA 227 - Aviation Skills

Required Academic Courses

Complete at least 4 of the following:
BUAD 111 - Financial Accounting I
BUAD 116 - Marketing
BUAD 123 - Management Principles
BUAD 201 - Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
BUAD 251 - Personal Financial Planning
BUAD 262 - Organizational Behaviour
CMNS 112 - Professional Writing I
MATH 114 - Business Mathematics
12 credits of academic courses must be completed as part of this program; substitute courses may be approved as appropriate.

Successful completion of the required courses as listed in the program outline with a minimum graduating grade average of 60% and a letter from Okanagan Mountain Helicopters indicating satisfactory completion of aviation theory courses and Transport Canada Commercial Pilot License.

Additional information

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