Vernon's Aerospace campus is holding an open house Saturday

Vernon Aerospace campus hosts open house

Those interested in learning more about careers in aviation will have a chance on Saturday to tour Okanagan College’s Aerospace Campus

Those interested in learning more about careers in aviation will have a chance on Saturday, Nov. 14 to tour Okanagan College’s Vernon Aerospace Campus and speak with instructors and students about program opportunities and two big new additions to the College’s fleet.

Okanagan College recently received two donated aircraft for training purposes in Vernon – a Jetstream 31 from the Swanberg family of Alberta and a Metroliner II from Carson Air in Kelowna. Guests of the open house will have an opportunity to tour the aircraft and learn more about how they will be utilized in the program.

The College offers a 62-week Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) M-License apprenticeship program in partnership with Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek.

The program is designed to take a student with little or no previous experience in the aircraft maintenance trade and supply him/her with the necessary skills to seek employment in that industry as an apprentice Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

“Having recently received about $1 million in aircraft for training purposes it’s a very exciting time for our program and this campus,” says Dale Martell, Chair of the AME program. “We know the aviation industry is facing a very real shortage of AMEs in the coming years, similar to the shortage predicted for commercial pilots, so this is a great time to be stepping into this career.”

Guests will also have an opportunity to learn about the College’s two-year Commercial Aviation diploma program, offered through Okanagan College’s School of Business, which conducts pilot training out of the Southern Interior Flight Center at the Kelowna Airport.

Globally, Boeing has projected there will be call for 584,000 maintenance technicians over the next 20 years, making it one of the most in-demand occupations in the aviation industry, just ahead of the estimated need for 533,000 commercial pilots in the same time period.

“The open house will be a chance for anyone interested in becoming an AME to learn about how the program is delivered through the College and how they can get started,” adds Martell.

The open house will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Vernon Aerospace Campus, 6225 Okanagan Landing Rd. in Vernon. The event is free and no RVSP is necessary. For more information, please contact Dale Martell, AME program Chair, dmartell@okanagan.bc.ca.

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