One of Canada’s most progressive flight schools

F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to have previous flying experience to begin training at GFT Aerospace?

No, you do not need to have any form of pilot training to begin studying at GFT Aerospace, in fact you only need to be 12 years old to begin training. Our competent instructors will help you with everything you need from ground work to flight instruction. When a student is ready, they will take their first solo flight. Keep in mind you only need to be 14 years old to fly solo.

2. If I already hold a current flying license (ex. Obtained through Air Cadets) will I be able to upgrade to a higher certification?

Yes, if you already hold a current flying license, you are able to upgrade anytime at GFT Aerospace. Since we offer a variety of flight training programs our students have the flexibility to take courses as needed, or enroll in the flight school as a full time student. Even if you have only a few hours logged then you can pick up right where you left off.

3. Can I rent a plane from GFT Aerospace to upgrade my hours if I already hold a flying license?

Yes, it is possible to rent a plane to upgrade flying hours or to recreationally use an aircraft if a valid copy of your license and medical is provided.

4. Can I still be a pilot if I wear glasses and do not have perfect vision?

Every student must have a medical evaluation before they can begin training. While there are certain eye conditions that prevent a person from being a pilot, generally a student does not need to have perfect vision. For example, if a student wears glasses that correct their vision or have had Lasik eye surgery and they have no other eye problems, they should be able to enroll in training. Each individual is different and a decision can be made only after a formal medical evaluation is conducted.

5. How old do I have to be to start training?

The age varies for each license, but a person can fly solo at the age of 14. In order for a Commercial Pilots License to be issued, a student must be 18 years old. However, training can begin prior to turning 18.

6. When do classes start for the Commercial Pilot License program?

Classes begin in September, January, and May. However, depending on the program you may wish to enroll in a supervised self study program that works for you. Then you could start training at any time.

7. What is the demand for pilots in Canada?

In Canada, the demand for pilots is growing all the time. The number of aircraft that Canadian airlines have on order outlines the future demand prospects for pilots. At GFT Aerospace, we operate as a Tier III carrier for Air Canada operating various routes within Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec. This is unique for a flight school and allows our students to take advantage of our Career Progression Program. This program enables students to not only learn to fly, but to progress into an aviation career with a recognized international airline.

8. What is the demand for pilots internationally?

Recently, there have been several news articles published outlining the worldwide demand for pilots in the future. It is projected that there will be 400,000 pilots needed to fly commercial routes by 2030. This is double the number of 200,000 currently employed. Countries in Asia, such as China and India, will see the greatest demand.

9. If I want to be a pilot, do I need to study certain courses in high school (ex. advanced math and physics)?

No, you do not need to take certain high school courses to become a pilot. It is recommended that a student have a good general understanding of mathematics in order to complete the calculations required for ground school examinations. Students will be taught how to perform the necessary calculations by instructors.

10. What are the salary expectations for a pilot?

This depends on the position you take. When you are a Commercial Pilot do not expect to get rich at the beginning of your career. Entry level positions in any small airline are approximately $30,000 per year. However, after you gain one or two years experience and become captain your salary will quickly jump to about $60,000. It will vary with different companies.

The average salary for Pilots today is about $110,000. For some information check out

11. Is there financial assistance available (ex. student loans)?

Yes, GFT programs are approved by the Department of Education, Student Aid,
and various other lenders across the country.

12. Where do students live while staying in Gander?

Most students will stay in apartments throughout Gander. Housing is affordable in comparison to many other areas across Canada. Once students are settled it is our experience that students, once they get to know each other, tend to find apartments and room together.

13. I do not own a car, how can I get to school in Gander?

Taxi’s throughout Gander are very inexpensive and only cost about $6.00 to get around town. After meeting people in the program, students tend to carpool with other classmates to cut down on costs.

14. How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

People have completed a Commercial Multi IFR within 9 months, others take two years. On average, it takes about 1.5 years for a student with no previous flying experience to complete the commercial program. Depending on the dedication, determination, drive, and work ethic of the student, as well as their financial situation, the program can be completed in longer or shorter amounts of time. It is largely up to you.

15. Do I need a Drivers License to start flight training?

No, you do not need any other form of license to start flight training with GFT Aerospace.

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