Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Pilot Licence Format

While I was getting my photos taken for my passport, I had an extra set done for my new pilot licence. As I mentioned, Transport Canada told me I need to have a new photo licence by the end of March.

That application was very much like a passport application, right down to the square where I had to sign my name without going outside the lines. (But did. It's like failing colouring in kindergarten, and I had to fill out the whole form over again). Then, to my surprise, the new licence arrived inside a week.

It's passport-style, i.e. a little booklet with a blue cover and lots of pages for stamps and notations. It's a bright cheap-looking blue colour, so looks very much like the passport of some obscure third world nation you've never heard of. The cover is embossed with a gold "Canada" (in the government logo with the flag), "Aviation Document" at the top and "Document d'aviation" at the bottom. The first page inside has my photograph twice (not green), my signature (not cut off at the edges) and some logos and personal information. It even has the codes at the bottom of the page, like you use in a passport scanner.

The next page has a little rectangle with my picture again, and abbreviations indicating what licences I hold. Sadly, it says SMELS which, while fortunately isn't a physical description, still isn't nearly as grand as the old All single and multi-engine land and sea aeroplanes. Following that are a whole bunch of pages for examiners to fill in subsequent qualifications, and me to stick official labels affirming them. It includes a page that will replace my PPC card, and a section (with another photograph) replacing my separate medical certificate. The only thing it doesn't include is my radio licence. I'll glue that in the back with rubber cement, so it's all in one place. Unless doing so constitutes defacement and voids the licence, in which case I'm only joking about that.

Oh and the passport code bars even get recognized as a passport. I used it to check in for an international flight at a kiosk recently, and it worked.

15 comments:

kbq said...

You got your picture wearing a *tie*? No scarf blowing in the wind?

:)

Kevin

yyzatcqq said...

I'm still waiting for my booklet to arrived. I mailed my application back in January. Maybe it's taking longer because they need to do my ATC sticker as well. Who knows.

nec Timide said...

Thanks for the reminder. I see they are now accepting applications for PPL. So I'll be off to find a camera I can't break :)

Sorry, no smiling. :|

Anonymous said...

While I am ever suspicious of government actions of this sort, I do have to say that the license is pretty cool, and doubling its use as a passport (if I read you correctly) seems genuinely useful. Will it fit into a wallet, though? (Maybe not much of a concern if you use a purse?)

Splendor said...

The SMELS is rather unfortunate. I had to explain a few rather amused people that I wasn't actually smelly commercial pilot... The booklet is definitely more practical than the half-bible sized thing the UK CAA issues.

I still don't understand why they didn't make a page/holder for the radio license, like the CAA does.. Well I know why - Industry Canada does the radios - but I think it would have been logical to have a place for it.

S.

Wirelizard said...

No place for the Radio Lic. is a bit of a nuisance; mine is currently held in the back of my spiffy new booklet with a paperclip.

Still, an improvement over the old "random bits of paper" format!

Interesting that it works as a passport - wonder what they do for folks who don't have a current passport?

keisha4 said...

Would a petition from Canadian pilots for another page to put in the radio license do any good?

Otherwise, as Wirelizard said.. paperclip. Bummer.

Tangozulu said...

Wow, you've got a seaplane license too? That sounds like fun. Your green hair also is different, it's such a nice muted shade too...

Seriously that format sounds useful. But it won't fit into my wallet very well. In the US the FAA's gone to plastic cards from the old paper. A bit more durable for those that laundry their papers and fits in my wallet

Blog http://onesandzeros.tangozulu.biz

viennatech said...

Having just passed my PPL all I have is a signature on the back of my Student Permit with all the proper wording attached. We sent the application in to TC for my license which I assume will arrive in the next month or so. I did not have to submit any photographs. Is this something that happens after the fact, or did I maybe miss something in my application?
That blue passport looks pretty cool, I don't want to miss out!

nec Timide said...

@viennatech and anyone else who needs to know. The very unclear word from TC is available on their website. I know at least one PPL holder that interpreted that page to mean there was a deadline for PPL holders to apply. I don't read it that way, but they are now accepting PPL applications so you should be able to submit the new form and photo any time.

Aviatrix said...

I said the bars get "recognized" as a passport at an airline check in kiosk. That's a little like having your sister's driver's licence recognized as proof of age ID by an inattentive bouncer.

Me said...

I had a similar problem with the signing outside the lines thing for my passport. Fortunately I live in Wales and therefore the application came with two forms: one English, one Welsh, so when I messed up the English signature, I then filled in the Welsh version (with a lot of cross-referencing since I don't speak Welsh). Unfortunately I then messed up that signature too. I was never all that good at colouring in either.

Two tips for future applications:
1. Do the signature first, if you mess it up you can just grab another form.
2. Stick post-it notes around the edge of the signature box, then if you go outside the lines, you go onto the post-its, not the form and the signature is still valid (as long as the missing bit isn't too obvious).

Scott Johnson said...

What a terrible picture! It looks like some pilot's refrigerator artwork! Fire that photog immediately.(grin)

grant said...

So now I have a medical renewal 'sticker' to apply to the booklet ... not much is provided in the way of illustration ... Does it go over top of the previous (original) one? Does it go under it - thus covering the now-redundant doc's handwrittne signature? (unlikely) ... Or do I "waste" the subsequent pages and flip over to the next set of pages that begins with an open (LABEL) box outline -- I suspect the latter. The explanation that comes with the sticker misses out on the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words... In googling your blog artice was the closest thing to anything helpful. You should send TC a bill for consulting services!

Aviatrix said...

I think you're right that it goes over the page, on what in my book is page 18. I've never been given a new medical sticker, just had the CAME stamp it each inspection. Did you change your medical category from 1 down to 3?