College invests $1.1 million in new plane

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The new twin-engine piper sits on the tarmac at Sault Airport, March 9, 2021. (Dan Gray/Saultonline.com)

Sault College has purchased a $1.1 million dollar twin engine Piper for their aviation program.

The aircraft as well as two other smaller aircraft purchased in September, add 25 per cent more aircraft to their training fleet.

Dr. Ron Common, President of Sault College, said it was a much-needed investment.

“And so the demand at this point is high enough that we need a third aircraft, the other two aircraft in our fleet for decades, and so we’re able to go out and purchase a brand new one, and it’s going to enable us to address the flying hours that the students need,” said Common. “Plus, the avionics in this aircraft are special… they’re very, very advanced high-end avionics and we don’t necessarily have it the other two (twin-engines) so we’re exposing our students to the state of the art avionics systems.”

Chair of Aviation Technology Greg Farish noted the aviation sector is still growing and this plane is going to help with their capacity problems.

“So we’re using them for students we can push through the system. This twin is for the advanced training, we are feeding them (single engine) in the this. And we’ve added this to third airplane that satisfy that demand.”

Farrish also noted since starting back up in September the college is back up to it’s 20-year average in plane movements. In December they set a new record in movements for the college. Movements are how the aircraft industry tracks volume of traffic for an airport.

The new Piper hasn’t flown officially for the college yet, as it has to undergo a full inspection before it can do so.

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