Volunteer Pilot Program

Our Volunteer Pilot Program (VPP) enables private pilots from across Canada to volunteer their time and aircraft to service communities not well covered by commercial airlines. The Volunteer Pilot Program was launched in 1999, and now has dozens of volunteer pilots all across the country helping clients get to their medical appointments and home again. A VPP flight shortens the journey for people who would otherwise face a long drive to the nearest airport to catch a commercial flight.
Volunteer pilots combine their passion for aviation with a desire to help others. Each VPP flight is a unique and personal experience for our clients, who are often flying in a small plane for the first time.

The minimum requirements an individual must meet to apply as a volunteer pilot are:
  • Hold a valid Canadian private, commercial, or airline transport pilot license
  • 500 hours flying logged
  • 400 hours PIC logged
  • 50 hours in current aircraft logged
  • 30 hours flying logged in the past 12 months

View our volunteer pilot Q&As below.

Volunteer Pilot Q&As


What is the Volunteer Pilot Program (VPP)?

The VPP was launched in 1999 with the goal of extending Hope Air’s service to communities not well covered by commercial airlines. Volunteer pilots donate their time flying Hope Air’s patients from their home communities to the treatment city and back in their personal aircraft.

How does the Volunteer Pilot Program work?

Volunteer pilots are provided with a list of flight request dates and routes, available through the VPP lounge, that require a volunteer pilot. New flight requests are posted regularly. If a volunteer pilot is interested in flying one of the routes on the dates requested, he or she can apply to fulfill the flight. If the volunteer pilot’s application is successful, he or she will be notified by a staff member, who will provide further information about the patient and flight to the volunteer pilot.
The volunteer pilot then contacts the client directly to make arrangements for the flight.
After the flight, the volunteer pilot completes a report about the flight for Hope Air’s records.

Who do volunteer pilots fly?

Volunteer pilots fly Hope Air patients of all ages, with all illnesses. Each patient is approved for a Hope Air flight and able to fly in a small aircraft.

Where do volunteer pilots fly?

Volunteer pilots can apply for flights in their home provinces to fly patients to nearby appointments.

What happens after a flight with a patient?

Volunteer pilots complete a mission report after each flight, which records information about distance flown for Hope Air’s records and fuel reimbursement purposes.

Will any of my costs for the flight be reimbursed?

Hope Air reimburses your fuel costs at a pre-set rate. You will also receive a charitable tax receipt for any of the costs that you incur that are not reimbursed. Using the Hope Air call sign on flights with patients waives your landing and NAV CANADA fees.

Does the VPP have insurance for its flights?

Yes. Hope Air has insurance for all VPP flights for planes with up to eight seats, in addition to the volunteer pilot’s own insurance.

Is the VPP licensed by the Canadian Transportation Agency?

Because Hope Air is a registered charity and not a commercial airline, Hope Air is exempt from CTA licensing requirements. However, Hope Air adheres to the highest standards in full recognition of the CTA and Transport Canada.