Mohawk College held a virtual event on Feb. 9 to officially open the Centre for Aviation Technology, bringing together all of the college’s aviation programs into one facility.

The new 75,000-square-foot complex is housed in one facility in an airside hangar at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. The three-storey facility provides students with modern labs, shops, training aids, classrooms and access to nearly 20 aircraft, doubling the student enrolment capacity for the college’s Aviation programs.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

The Centre for Aviation Technology was built in cooperation with KF Aerospace, which recently constructed an expansion of its aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. The Mohawk and KF Aerospace buildings are connected by common areas, providing Mohawk students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, working side-by-side with certified tradespeople in placements and experiential learning opportunities in a hangar adjacent to their classes and labs.

Previously, Aviation students in the Aviation Technician – Maintenance, Aircraft Structure and Avionics Maintenance programs were trained at four different college locations, with a total limit of 175 student seats available. The Mohawk College Centre for Aviation Technology brings all those programs together in one location, at one of Canada’s most active and growing passenger and cargo airports. The additional space and resources allow Mohawk to double the number of students who can be trained.

“John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is an international gateway for affordable passenger travel and the largest overnight express cargo airport in Canada. The Airport’s strategic location and uncongested 24/7 operations make it an attractive option for businesses looking to serve the Southern Ontario market,” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO of Hamilton International. “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 providing real-life, hands-on experiences and integrated skills training in a modern, state-of-the art facility helping supply well-rounded candidates for the growing aerospace sector.”

Features of the new Centre for Aviation Technology include:

• The only Boeing 737 NG Virtual Maintenance Training system in a Canadian College;
• Separate permanent turbine and piston engine labs;
• Hangar space for 20 static aircraft (incl. an Ornge Sikorski helicopter, Falcon corporate jet) and outside space for operational planes (incl. Boeing 727); and
• Student enrolment capacity increased from 175 to 350.

(Photo: Mohawk College)