Flight Time versus Air Time
There has recently been some confusion in industry about the recording of Flight Time and Air Time in the Journey Log. In December of last year, Transport Canada circulated an email, indicating that Air Time = Flight Time. The message has caused some controversy among our members – particularly among flight training operators – virtually all of whom have been recording Flight Time to include the time between start-up, and shut-down. This interpretation is consistent with ICAO, but inconsistent with Transport Canada’s interpretation. The result of this interpretation for flight schools is significant, since it meant that students could only record skids-up-to-skids-down, for the purpose of their licence applications, resulting in a 10-20% increase in the cost of training. What’s more, it made Canadian flight training operators less competitive with other international jurisdictions – who generally apply the ICAO definitions.
HAC and Lyle Watts, of Heli-College Canada (and the Chair of our HAC Flight Training & Licensing Committee) recently met with Transport Canada on this subject, and articulated some of our concerns. To their credit, Transport Canada was willing to listen to the issues raised by industry, and they have decided that they will not be enforcing the interpretation released in December of 2017 - at least for now. They have also agreed to open a dialogue with HAC’s Flight Training & Licensing Committee on this subject, with a view to finding a more agreeable way forward. There are other, separate, but related issues, which will be discussed with industry at the same time, including the minimum number of hours required to obtain a Commercial License, and the elements of an HAC proposal in 2016, to reduce the number of solo hours required for a Commercial license.