Mount Royal and Jazz Aviation LP pilot new deal

Graham Woods Aviation - Jazz Announcement 2016
Graham Woods, a Mount Royal University graduate and First Officer at Jazz Aviation LP, was an honoured guest at a signing event between organizations on April 26. ~ Photo by Chao Zhang

Agreement builds on strong relationship while giving grads a lift up on their piloting careersGraduates of Mount Royal University's Aviation program are on the fast track to landing a job with a major Canadian airline, thanks to an agreement with Jazz Aviation LP.

Leaders from both organizations met at Mount Royal's hangar at the Springbank Airport to officially sign a deal granting every qualified graduate a job interview with Jazz. The collaboration benefits Mount Royal students and ensures that Jazz has access to a deep pool of professionally trained aviators.

"It is an exceptional feat for a graduating pilot to get a job with a major airline," said Leon Cygman, chair of Mount Royal's Aviation department. "Today's agreement means more Mount Royal graduates will have an earlier opportunity to enter the pilot profession.

"We are pleased to see Jazz recognize the excellence of Mount Royal's aviation program."

The agreement is part of the Jazz Aviation Pathway Program (APP).

A version of the agreement has been in place since 2007, but this is the first year that every qualified graduate has the opportunity for a job interview with Jazz. That is due to the expanded agreement and because Mount Royal is now approved by one the world's leading aviation accreditation agencies, the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

"Mount Royal is a valued member of the Jazz APP and we commend their top-quality Aviation program," said Cal Purves, director, Flight Operations, Jazz. "In order to effectively promote safety and professionalism among Canada's future professional pilots, we rely on relationships such as our nine-year collaboration with the University."

Aviation - Jazz Announcement 2016
Val Kinnear, Dean of the Bissett School of Business and Cal Purves, Director of Flight Operations (Chief Pilot) at Jazz Aviation LP put ink to paper on an agreement between organizations. ~ Photo by Chao Zhang

Mount Royal is the only institution in Alberta that blends internationally-accredited ‎flight training with university-level coursework; graduates work for every major Canadian airline around the world.

While the institution has trained commercial pilots for almost a half century, its aviation legacy extends back to the Second World War when the No. 3 Service Flying Training School operated where the Lincoln Park campus is today. The University's distinct Aviation Diploma program combines flight training with university-level courses in business management, mathematics and wilderness survival techniques.

This weekend, the 2016 class of aviation students will graduate from the program.

"Right now, we're focused on finding work after graduation," said Lauren Taylor, a graduating second-year Aviation Diploma student. "This agreement is excellent news for those of us who want to stay and work in Canada."

Mount Royal is committed to meeting the growing needs of the airline industry. More than 550,000 new commercial airline pilots are needed worldwide over the next 20 years - including 95,000 in North America alone, according to the 2015 Boeing Pilot and Technical Outlook report.

In her opening remarks, Dean of the Bissett School of Business Val Kinnear described air transport as "a major cog in Canada's economic engine."

Kinnear cited a 2013 report from the Conference Board of Canada, which found the air transportation industry carried an economic footprint of $35 billion.

"Air travel enables global business connections," she said. "And as we look out to the Rockies today, we know tourism also depends heavily on air transportation."

April 26, 2016 — Bryan Weismiller