Alberta aviation industry gets $5mil boost

An Air Spray aerial tanker in Alberta.
Photo Credit: Cyril Defever/Air Spray Airtankers
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Alberta’s aviation industry is taking off at an unprecedented rate, propelling the need for skilled workers to sustain its remarkable momentum.

With a commitment of $5 million, the Aviation Skills Grant is stepping in to bolster the province’s aerospace sector, a critical move as Alberta’s economy continues its trajectory of growth and diversification.

Boosting Alberta’s Aerospace Sector


The Aviation Skills Grant is more than just financial support; it’s a strategic investment in Alberta’s aviation future. This initiative aims to address the escalating demand for skilled professionals within the aviation industry by providing substantial funding to fourteen deserving employers.

These recipients collectively represent various facets of the sector, from air transportation to flight schools and aircraft maintenance businesses spread across the province.

The essence of the Aviation Skills Grant lies in its financial backing, which empowers employers to tap into new pools of talent and skill. Each of the fourteen chosen entities will receive up to $30,000 per trainee, a boost that goes a long way in alleviating the costs associated with training for new or vacant positions.

This investment not only accelerates the growth of these businesses but also acts as a catalyst for the overall advancement of Alberta’s aviation industry.

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Focused Training for Key Roles


The aviation landscape in Alberta is experiencing a resounding call for skilled professionals, particularly in the roles of pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers.

These two occupations, vital to the seamless operation of the aviation sector, constitute more than half of the training requests from the grant recipients.

The allocation of resources to these essential roles underscores the commitment of the Aviation Skills Grant to address the current demand with precision.

A Mosaic of Grant Recipients


From small enterprises with ambitious aspirations to large-scale operations shaping the industry’s future, the grant recipients embody the diversity and vibrancy of Alberta’s aviation sector.

Notable among them is Airspray, a company rooted at the Red Deer Regional Airport, which provides crucial air tanker support for wildfire control.

Adventure Aviation, stationed in Grande Prairie, boasts a legacy of over two decades in training pilots, while WestJet Airlines, Canada’s second-largest airline, stands out with its impressive fleet of nearly 800 daily flights.

The complete list of grant beneficiaries is available on the official Alberta government website here.

A WestJet Boeing 737 MAX lines up on the runway.
Johnnyw3, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Industry Comment


Andy Gibbons, the vice-president of external affairs at WestJet Airlines, lauds the grant for its potential to elevate the industry to new heights.

Gibbons commends the Government of Alberta’s foresight in strategically investing in aviation, acknowledging the impact it will have on WestJet’s growth within the province.

This sentiment echoes across the industry, as the grant emerges as a pivotal force in driving aviation and tourism as integral economic drivers for Alberta.

The Aviation Skills Grant is seamlessly woven into Alberta at Work, a comprehensive provincial initiative that earmarks over $700 million for empowering Albertans to acquire new skills and cultivate their careers.

The grant’s contribution aligns with targeted investments aimed at propelling the aviation sector’s expansion.

This cohesive approach underscores the government’s dedication to creating a sustainable, thriving, and diverse economy for the province.

The grant’s strategic allocation of resources to key roles, its endorsement by industry leaders, and its integration into the broader framework of Alberta at Work collectively paint a promising picture of growth.

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