Airline and university fly together to train Inuit pilots
Majority of $120,000 tuition covered by federal government; Canadian North will offer graduates a job
Canadian North has partnered with a Manitoba university to create a flight school that caters to Inuit students.
The airline already has Inuit pilots but decided to launch the new program after Providence University College, a Christian school with a little more than 600 students, upgraded its aviation training program to issue a new licence through the Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Program.
“IATPL allows us to serve airlines directly,” said Kenton Anderson, president of Providence.
They began developing the program in the spring and within four months, it was ready, Anderson said.
The school and the airline hope to have trainees in the program as early as September, but Anderson and Canadian North CEO Michael Rodyniuk both acknowledge that may be a challenge given the short time frame.
Rodyniuk said he would be happy if the school has two students in the program by September.
“There’s a chronic shortage of pilots in industry, across the world,” Rodyniuk said.
Rodyniuk said a Canadian North recruiter is flying all over the North, trying to find potential students for the new program. He said it is important get the best people possible even with the short period of time because he wants to ensure the graduates are able to succeed in the industry.
Canadian North will offer jobs to graduates.
Once enrolled, students will have the option of training solely to be a pilot or take part in academic course work, including business training.
Providence has provided a Bachelor of Arts and Aviation program for almost 40 years. That program is split with flight training through a school called Harv’s Air and academics handled by Providence. Students can also get a joint major in aviation and business administration.
Students in the Inuit flight school will be far from home while they study but they will be able to stay in student accommodation for the entirety of their education.
The total cost for tuition and the flight school program is $120,000 over the four-year program. The federal government will fund 70 per cent.
“There’s a number of Inuit groups that are, I would say, predisposed to ensuring that there’s promotion of Inuit pilots coming forward. We’ve found a receptive audience with some of the key Inuit groups,” Rodyniuk said.