Canadian Seaplane Ratings, Courses & Floatplane Training


Learn More About
Ocean Air Floatplanes

If you have aspirations of becoming a Seaplane pilot, whether commercial or private, no one is more capable of helping you achieve your goals than Ocean Air. We have helped over 325 pilots earn their Canadian Seaplane Rating since 2002.

If it suits your needs, we can take Seaplane Training above and beyond the Transport Canada Floatplane / Seaplane Endorsement basics. Our exceptionally well-rounded 15 & 50 hour bush Seaplane training programs, our ‘Vacationing Pilot’ course, knowledgeable instructors, and beautiful Gulf Islands setting just outside Victoria and close to Vancouver, creates a perfect training setting for learning to be an experienced and safe bush / urban Seaplane pilot.

“I’ve been flying for over 26 years and much of it has been with major airlines flying wide-body jet aircraft – some of it as a Training Captain/Check Airman. When I decided to learn float flying I was extremely lucky to find the same high standards and professionalism with David Budd and Ocean Air. Deep Learning & Enjoyment is guaranteed!”

Who is Ocean Air and What Experience Do Their Pilots Have?

Ocean Air is owned and operated by Pilot David Budd. David earned his pilot license in Victoria in 1997; he is one of the few pilots who has both learned and worked in BC for his entire career. David has over 8000 hours of float time from both teaching and charter work in Cessnas, Beavers (working for Salt Spring Air) as well as Amphibian time and Multi IFR ratings. David has taught over 300 seaplane ratings and has students who now fly professionally all over Canada and the world. His previous students are Captians on float equiped Twin Otters, Q400s for Jazz and have worked as far away as the Maldives and Antarctica. Some have returned to work in BC. His experience on the coast, local knowledge as well as cross country ferrying experience throughout Canada coupled with his calm, fun teaching style shows his love for flying and enjoyment as an instructor, sharing his skill set and focusing on safety. Experience and safety in the dynamic and changing coastal environment = beautiful scenery and challenging flights.

St. Clair McColl began float plane flying from Salt Spring Island in 1985 and since has over 16,000 hours of seaplane time! It is truly a privilege for us to offer lessons and charter flights with Saint. Saint has flown for Harbour Air as well as Salt Spring Air among others in his long career. Having his experience, great sense of humour and knowledge of the coast here with us to share with you is something special, as it’s very hard to find such an experienced  seaplane pilot who is available to teach.

During what began as a routine flight on March 19, 2007, St. Clair McColl rescued a father and son from the frigid waters of the Strait of Georgia after a passenger noticed their capsized boat and notified McColl. Saint and his two passengers were later honoured by the Lifesaving Society of British Columbia.

Ocean Air Floatplane / Seaplane Training on British Columbia’s Pacific Coast!

We aren’t just a Seaplane school; we are also an air-taxi service which means that your training takes place in an environment that will make the student and aviation enthusiast aware of the real world concerns, planning and professionalism required of an operation that serves the public.

The unique geographical features of Coastal British Columbia include thousands of local islands, inlets, rivers, lakes and soaring mountains. These create a spectacular, challenging, and ever-changing learning environment. Seaplanes give you the freedom to explore the entire coast: where there is water, there is a runway! Together we will explore and teach you how to safely operate in the coastal towns, villages and in the confined areas of the bush as well as high altitude lakes. The scenery is unsurpassed and wildlife sightings are common: from whales and seals to bald eagles.

We really care about the success of our students and strive to accommodate them in all possible ways.

Our programs encourage students to learn from our extensive experience and share the excitement of flying from the Pacific Ocean to coastal and interior lakes and rivers.


Ocean Air has developed a 50-hour Seaplane syllabus that has proven very effective in enabling career minded pilots to become professional Seaplane pilots throughout Canada and the US. Ocean Air’s 50 hour Seaplane training syllabus will give you the required training to get that important first job. We have graduates who fly Seaplanes commercially all over the world.

 Work your new found skills in realistic scenarios while learning the challenging skills of determining conditions then executing the appropriate plan of action. This course takes place in the spectacular scenery of the Gulf Islands at busy, real working Pacific seaplane docks that serve Island communities.

Taught by professional and experienced coastal floatplane pilots, as per the Transport Canada Seaplane Manual in our Cessna 180 Seaplane on Aerocet 3500L Floats, you will be introduced to seaplanes and will be competent to fly the 5 solo take off and landing requirements for the rating to be added to your License. 

If There is Water We Can Take You There!

With a Charter We Fly on Your Schedule!