The following is a listing of the types of Commercial Aviation operating certificates in Canada. A company can also hold more then one type of operating certificate.
Flight Training Units
Often refered to as "406" (Canadian Air Regulations number) operator or FTUs. These are the flight schools, flight colleges, flying clubs, universities. They are allowed to conduct flight training using commercially registered and maintined aircraft for the general public. In 2013 there where 165 flight training units such as Harv's Air Flight Training. It is very common for a new pilot to get his start in a flight training unit.
Aerial work Operators.
Aerial work operations (Canadian Air Regulations 702) are conducted by aeroplanes or helicopters. In general aerial work is not transporting persons or property from A to B, it has to be with some type of "work" in the air. Examples include but not limited to: Aerial Advertising, Aerial Construction, Aerial Photography, Aerial Sightseeing, Aerial Spraying, Fire Fighting, Glider Towing, Parachute Jumping. There where 182 Aerial work operators in Canada in 2011. Many new pilots get their start doing "aerial work".
Air Taxi Operators
Transport Canada designates these operators as “703 carriers” under Canadian Aviation Regulations numbering system. This category includes operations with single-engine aircraft or multi-engine aircraft (other than a turbo-jet-powered plane) that have a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds or less and a seating configuration of nine or fewer passengers. A multi-engine helicopter certified for operation by one pilot and operated under visual flight rules is also classified under air taxis.
In 2011, there were 538 licensed 703 carriers in Canada, including operations such as Keystone Air Service Ltd., Lake Country Airways, and Sasair Inc. They usually conduct unscheduled flights, carrying miners or other workers to remote locations, aboriginal people to northern First Nations communities or vacationers travelling to fishing lodges or other out-of-the-way destinations. Many new pilots get their start doing air taxi work.
Designateed as “704 carriers” under Canadian Aviation Regulations. This category includes operations with multi-engine aircraft that have a takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds or more and a seating configuration for 10 to 19 passengers; a turbo-jet-powered airplane that has a maximum zero-fuel weight of 50,000 pounds carrying not more than 19 passengers; and a multi-engine helicopter with a seating configuration for 10 to 19 passengers (unless it is an operation with just one pilot operated under visual flight rules).
In 2011, there were 89 licensed 704 carriers in Canada including operations such as Air Labrador Ltd., Cougar Helicopters and West Coast Air. Like many 704 carriers, they also may operate smaller aircraft designated for operation under different rules. Is is less common for new pilots get their first flying job with a commuter operation.
Transport Canada designates these operators as “705 carriers” under Canadian Aviation Regulations. This category includes operations authorized to operate an aircraft that has a takeoff weight of more than 19,000 pounds or for which a Canadian certificate has been issued authorizing the transport of 20 or more passengers; or a helicopter that has a seating configuration of 20 passengers or more.
In 2011, there were 39 licensed 705 carriers in Canada. They include the country’s major airliners (Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet Airlines, for example), which carry about 95 per cent of all air passengers in any given year. Other smaller scheduled airlines designated as 705 carriers include, for instance, Porter Airlines, Air Transat and First Air. Very few new pilots get their start with a airline operation. Unless their dad owns the airline.