Safety & Training
KF Aerospace supports Indigenous pilot training after hangar fire
January 19, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
The First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) flight training program remains open to students following a devastating fire that destroyed much of its campus and hangar facilities in the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory of Ontario last year. With students temporarily re-housed, external support from the aviation industry was pivotal in recovering the program.
In response to the disaster, KF Aerospace volunteered to donate a temporary hangar structure to safely house aircraft required for continued training at Mohawk Aerodrome. KF staff and contractors worked closely with FNTI to identify key facility requirements and complete the installation in time to protect its fleet from harsh winter conditions.
KF Aerospace President & CEO, Tracy Medve says it was a successful collaboration between industry segments. “FNTI does incredible work to support Indigenous representation in the aerospace sector while also addressing Canada’s critical pilot shortage. We were honoured to share our expertise and deliver a timely solution to keep their students flying.”
The First Peoples’ Aviation Technology Program is the only post-secondary Indigenous aviation program of its kind in Canada and provides hands-on flight training for students interested in pursuing a pilot’s licence or working in the aviation industry. In 2022 the program had an enrollment of 42% Indigenous women.
“The loss of our hangar, AMO, dispatch and planes in February was devastating for FNTI and our aviation students, who come from urban and remote communities across Canada,” said Suzanne Brant, President of FNTI. “We are fortunate to have resilient staff who pivoted to provide students with training options, ensuring minimal program interruption. The aviation industry stepped up and offered much-needed contributions toward maintaining uninterrupted pilot training, and providing temporary solutions until our hangar could be rebuilt.”