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 is partnering with a Manitoba school to recruit Inuit students to become commercial airline pilots. (File photo)

By Jorge Antunes

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.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Serious Question on

    Do they have to behave and partake in Christian rituals to attend the school?

  2. Posted by PR Profiler on

    This is the kind of press release that is released to distract people from the true internal issues impacting Canadian North.

    If Canadian North was able to retain more of its current employees, then the airline would not be in a continual recruiting crisis. High employee turnover is a KPI of dysfunctional management.

  3. Posted by Andrew James owlijoot on

    I’m interested in becoming a pilot and I’m wondering if you guys or anyone would be able to guide me into a pilot school

    • Posted by Not the place to ask on

      Why do people do this? Seriously… why?

  4. Posted by Daniel on

    I would like to try this out

  5. Posted by 180 on

    Canadian North trying to hire more and more to make up for their lack of concern for their existing employees, over worked and under paid while the company makes millions while also gouging their customers with high price flights. I wouldn’t fly with them if I could but they have the monopoly, so we all have to fly with them.

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