Cape Breton Flight Institute Takes Off

Jul 18, 2008

CBFI - Media ScrumSydney is home to a new international pilot training centre.

Cape Breton Flight Institute will operate from the Sydney Airport. This professional training centre is filling the growing need for pilots in the expanding economies of China and other emerging markets.

The company has participated in five trade missions to China and is in negotiations with major Chinese airlines. The flight school expects to begin training its first class of pilot cadets in September.

Justice Minister Cecil Clarke, acting on behalf of Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac, made the announcement today, July 18, at Cape Breton Flight Institute's hangar at the Sydney airport.

"Cape Breton Flight Institute's growth in Sydney will have a lasting economic impact on this community," said Mr. Clarke. "This company is an example of the exciting opportunities in Nova Scotia's dynamic defence and aerospace industry."

The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is supporting the Cape Breton Flight Institute with a payroll rebate set at a maximum $746,550. The rebate is earned as the employer reaches yearly performance targets during the next five years. The company will create up to 70 new jobs over the term of the agreement.

"The demand for pilots in China and other emerging markets has never been stronger," said Bill Gardiner, president and CEO of Cape Breton Flight Institute. "The Flight Institute will put to use two of Nova Scotia's best assets - infrastructure and talent - to train airline-ready pilots to meet this global demand."

Pilot cadets from China will live on campus at Cape Breton University where they will also receive their ground school instruction. Flight instructors, among the most experienced in Canada, will teach at the Sydney airport.

"This is a great example of regional growth based on international opportunities," said Pat Ryan, vice-president and chief operating officer of Nova Scotia Business Inc. "The flight institute is using assets right here in the community to help meet demand around the world."

In addition to the payroll rebate, the company is receiving a $710,000 loan from NSBI for startup costs. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is also providing a $750,000 loan.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the government of Nova Scotia's private-sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital.