Reaching New Heights

Canada’s newest aviation training facility is preparing students for a smooth take-off. The Mohawk College Centre for Aviation Technology (CAT) opened in Hamilton, Ontario on February 9, 2021.

In previous years, students in the Aviation Technician – Maintenance, Aircraft Structure, and Avionics Maintenance programs were trained at four separate College locations. The new 75,000 square-foot complex brings future technicians together for the first time in a purpose-built facility at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. Housed in a three-story airside hanger and featuring modern labs, shops, classrooms, training aids, and access to nearly 20 aircraft, the Centre doubles the enrolment capacity of Mohawk’s aviation programs to a total of 350 seats.

“We are excited to have our students training in this impressive new facility. And we are grateful to all of the industry partners who have supported us in this huge project,” said Ron McKerlie, President and CEO of Mohawk College. “With this state-of-the-art training facility and the innovative training equipment we can now offer our students, we are confident Mohawk College will soon become one of the top aviation training colleges in Canada. We look forward to supporting the local and national aviation industry, as companies reinforce their workforces on the road to economic recovery.”

Additionally, KF Aerospace recently expanded its aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility at Hamilton International; Mohawk built the Centre for Aviation Technology in cooperation with the 50-year-old industry leader. The buildings are connected by common areas, allowing Mohawk students to work side-by-side with certified tradespeople in placements and experiential learning opportunities in a hangar adjacent to their classes.

Specifically, the CAT boasts the only Boeing 737 NG Virtual Maintenance Training system in a Canadian College. It has separate permanent turbine and piston engine labs and incorporates hangar space for 20 static aircraft – including an Ornge Sikorski helicopter and Falcon corporate jet – and outside space for operational planes.

“I am very excited to partner with Mohawk College on Canada’s newest aviation center of excellence,” said Barry Lapointe, Founder and CEO of KF Aerospace. “I still remember my excitement and passion when I went to school to become an AME, and hope students take full advantage of this legacy facility. I know the pandemic has temporarily altered air travel, but both Mohawk students and KF are well-positioned for the coming rebound. I think timing will work out perfectly for the future graduates as we re-start our expansion plans.”

And the airport is happy to do their part for the industry. “John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is an international gateway for affordable passenger travel and the largest overnight express cargo airport in Canada,” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO. “As an economic engine, Hamilton International Airport continues to seek partnership opportunities to drive community benefits and promote access to local talent and services. With on-site access to a variety of Airport customers, KF Aerospace and Mohawk College’s Centre for Aviation Technology will further contribute to workforce development in our region by helping supply well-rounded candidates for the growing aerospace sector.”