Program Description

Aviation Diploma Program 

Aviation school takes off

With a nationwide pilot shortage looming, a small airline in Fort Smith Northwest Territories took matters into their own hands.They launched their own aviation school.

Posted by CBC North on Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The program, jointly delivered by Northwestern Airlease of Fort Smith and SaLT College, is designed to provide training for Northerners seeking to become commercial pilots. This two-year program (5 terms, each 15 weeks in length) combines classroom theory and flight training that will enable graduates to exit the program with their commercial pilot’s license, their Multi-Engine IFR Rating, and their Group I Instrument Rating. The aviation portions of the program are enhanced by skill and knowledge related to the general aviation industry. There will be elective courses on First Aid, Survival, floats, skis, off-strip landing, and bush flying.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for employment with small or medium sized air carriers flying wheel, float, or ski equipped planes. Graduates will be qualified to act as first officers in small to medium sized twin engine aircraft, and pilot in command on a single engine aircraft.

Program Eligibility

Applicants to this program must meet the following criteria;

  • be 17 years of age or older;
  • Math 20-2 and English 20-2. Mature students (19 years or older) can be evaluated in the interview.
  • applicants must pass a Class I Medical administered by a Transport Canada approved physician
  • applicants must submit a letter detailing their interest in the program and reasons for applying
  • applicants will be assessed by a review team consisting of two representatives from Northwestern Airlease Ltd and one representative from SaLT College.
  • priority will be given to Indigenous and NWT residents.
  • applicants will demonstrate a commitment to a career in aviation in a letter of interest.

Program Objectives

  • To prepare commercial pilots.
  • To provide individuals with knowledge and skills related to business management and customer service in the aviation industry.
  • To train pilots in the North for the North.

Program Output:

  • Commercial license with multi-engine, instrument and float rating
  • One of the few programs in Canada where you will have ski experience
  • 207 hours of flight time and over 300 hours of class instruction

To have more information about the program: Training program

To apply, see more information here: Application process