The university decided last summer to return the aging fleet of training aircraft it was leasing and buy seven new state-of-the-art planes. The university also upgraded its fleet of flight simulators from one to three.
“It was great to know that the board of governors and the upper echelons of the school really valued and supported us,” says assistant professor of aviation Mark Benson. Mount Royal has been training aviation students for more than 40 years and the recent purchases are “a vote of confidence” in the continuation of the program, he says.
The new fleet includes four single-engine Cessna 172s – “the premier trainer on the planet,” says Mr. Benson – and three Tecnam P2006T twin-engine trainers. The planes are kept at the Laing Flight Operations Centre at the Springbank Airport outside Calgary.
There are about 50 students at any given time in the two-year aviation diploma program. “By the time they graduate, they’re ready to go directly into the [aviation] industry” as a commercial pilot, says Mr. Benson.