We develop careers. During our 24 years in business we have trained more than 6,000 pilots to perform their best in an airline environment. We are proud to announce the creation of our airline operations academy, “The Academy”.
Inspired by our culture of professionalism, and career development, the Academy will provide our pilots and other employees, industry players and academic partners a dedicated, purpose-designed facility for training, personal study, learning development, and the tools required to expand their careers.
Our goal with the Academy, currently in design/planning and scheduled to open for Canadian Thanksgiving, is to promote professional learning and individual advancement through research and development, the use of leading technologies, and promoting partnerships.
We are committed to fostering an environment where regulators, unions, academics, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and pilots can freely explore learning and teaching techniques, create new practices, collaborate with leaders in aviation, education, technology and innovation while moving our industry forward with a focus on airline safety and operations.
As a proud Air Canada Express partner flying our nation’s flag we believe strongly that aviation in Canada is a community, and that it is our responsibility to punch above our weight in solving the many complex issues relating to industry awareness, recruitment, skills development and career advancement.
“Today, almost 1 in 3 Air Canada pilots spent part of their journey at Air Georgian,” stated Julie Mailhot, Air Georgian’s COO. “I am excited by our investment in training not only for pilots but also for the rest of our team and the promise it holds for the next generation of Air Georgian pilots, maintenance personnel and cabin crew.
The Academy will draw on the guidance of Dr. Suzanne Kearns, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo, and Air Georgian Advisory Board Member.
“It’s my pleasure to congratulate Air Georgian on the development of their Academy. At a time when the global aviation industry is facing a shortage of qualified professionals, it is encouraging to see a company investing in a forward-thinking educational environment.”
The Academy serves as a learning-focused centre. It incorporates classrooms of varying sizes, capable of supporting ground schools, maintenance type training, flight attendant training, corporate training, and communications events.
As an industry leader in regional aviation, Air Georgian operates approximately 200 flights a day as Air Canada Express. We have long integrated elements of competency-based learning into our pilot training culture and we will expand upon those initiatives by working with our employees, unions and industry to bring this training to the mainstream and allow students and instructors to manage the pace and pressure of their learning.
All students learn differently. While many benefit from a linear, one-class-at-a-time approach to training, many aviation professionals prefer to learn from several, individually-mastered learner-focused sources while collaborating with peers. Competency based training (CBT) embraces the diversity, independence and intellectual complexity of our employees.
Dr. Kearns is a respected author and professor in aviation training and the use of CBT. She comments, “Competency-based education is a process where training is strategically designed to foster the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for competent professional performance. By carefully reviewing how current professionals behave and think, learner-centered training can be developed that aligns key educational experiences to expedite a person’s progression from trainee to professional.”
Open Source Learning
Open Source Learning is an empowering tool that allows students to independently manage their education while working full-time. In a communications and information driven world where employees are demanding more resources for their development, Open Source Learning encourages each employee to embrace being a student.
Open Source Learning allows students to study a complete curriculum but at their own pace. It involves:
- International academic resources;
- Technology-based and portable media;
- Augmented reality, Interactive apps and software;
- Anecdotal and Community-Based Learning and non-formal industry pedagogy;
Building on SOAR
The Academy will play a central role in the continued development and promotion of SOAR. The Academy will offer training services on a cost-recovery basis to our SOAR partners and will promote harmonized learning and professional development, the creation of innovative ideas, career-management technologies, and new techniques to help us achieve our collective safety and business goals.
Mitigating the Pilot Shortage
The lack of a reliable and sufficient stream of capable pilots is the most pressing challenge facing the airline industry.
“ICAO predicts that by 2036 the aviation industry will need 620,000 new pilots,” says Dr. Kearns. “Remarkably, 80% of these pilots are currently young people who have not yet begun training. A similar considerable number of other aviation professionals are also needed. This reinforces the need for and importance of innovative training organizations.”
Air Georgian is committing the Academy to the improvement of Canada’s aviation industry. We will invite our SOAR partners, regulators, educators, and members of the airline industry to collaboratively improve training methods, systems, standards, and procedures.
Eric Edmondson, CEO of Air Georgian, says, “Safety has no brand. We welcome all of our industry colleagues to collaborate on ways to improve training techniques and develop best practices for pilots, maintenance personnel, cabin crew and ground staff.”