November 21, 2019

Industry Announces Canada’s First Airline Cadet Program


CAE, Jazz Aviation and Seneca College have jointly announced the creation of a pilot training program that will take appropriate pilot candidates and train them to the point where they will be qualified to fly CRJ200s and, subject to certain conditions, be welcomed into Jazz as first officers. The first graduates are expected to join Jazz by the end of 2021.

Contributing to the uniqueness of this program is that the training will follow the ab initio model; program candidates are recruited based on their academic profile and aptitude for piloting, among other things; possession of any kind of a pilot licence is not required for acceptance into the program. The program will deliver to Jazz Aviation pilots in possession of their Airline Transport Pilot Licence with both Instrument and multi-engine ratings.

This follows pilot training models used by some European and Asian airlines located in countries where General Aviation does not have a large presence and/or pool of experienced pilots to draw upon.

The training will not come cheap, though. Cost of the program is $126,000 plus applicable taxes, although CAE is lobbying for government contributions to bring that cost down for the student. Canadian citizenship or permanent residency is required, as is a post-secondary degree, diploma or equivalent.

CAE (formerly known as Canadian Aviation Electronics) is a leading manufacturer of flight advanced simulators used by airlines around the world. CAE also provides turnkey flight training services to many of their clients.

“CAE creates over 1,500 new pilots yearly in over 30 cadet training programs globally, and we are thrilled to add a first Canadian cadet pilot training program to our list of curricula,” said Nick Leontidis, head of civil aviation training for CAE.

Jazz Aviation, owned by Chorus Aviation of Halifax, operates 660 flights daily to 59 destinations in Canada and 25 in the United States, mostly co-branded as Air Canada Express. More than 5000 people are employed by the regional airline.

“For Jazz, this innovative initiative will be an expansion of our Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (Jazz APP) and provides yet another avenue for future generations of pilots to launch their careers in aviation,” said Steve Linthwaite, Jazz’s vice-president for flight operations.

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is an Ontario government post-secondary institution with multiple campuses in the Toronto region. The college’s aviation program is based at their satellite campus at the Peterborough airport (CYPQ).

“The Jazz Approach program is another opportunity for Seneca to be on the forefront of flight training in Canada,” said Lynne McMullen of Seneca’s School of Aviation.

Photo credit: Seneca College