Rick Hansen Secondary School (RHSS) in Abbotsford, BC introduced its Aviation Careers program in 2010 as one of the newer elective options for senior students. In the next school year (2012-13), RHSS will add CCAA’s AMOP curriculum to its existing program, joining CCAA’s Canada-wide roster of 24 AMOP high schools. In the meantime, the school runs its own curriculum. AMOP (Aviation Maintenance Orientation Program) is CCAA’s high school curriculum to introduce students to the basics of flight, aircraft construction and maintenance, and the many careers to be had in aviation and aerospace. Situated near Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), RHSS is in an ideal location to take advantage of partnerships with local aviation businesses and organizations. In addition To regular classroom instruction, students experience many facets of the aviation industry at local organizations, including aircraft maintenance at Cascade Aerospace and Aircraft Structures at the University of the Fraser Valley. The aim of the course is to increase graduate transitions into aviation programs at local postsecondary institutions. The current program: Aviation 12 The first cohort of 16 students at Rick Hansen completed the aviation course in the 20102011 school year, enjoying a comprehensive and wideranging experience both in the classroom and in the Pacific Northwest region. Field trips included tours of the Abbotsford air traffic control tower, Cascade Aviation, WestJet, Chinook Helicopters, Coastal Pacific (including time in the flight simulator), and the Seattle Museum of Flight in Washington State, giving students the opportunity to see the various aviation employment opportunities available in the Fraser Valley, specifically in Abbotsford. Of the 16 students who entered the program in September 2010, 12 have indicated their intention to continue working towards a private pilot’s licence, training at Coastal Pacific Aviation at Abbotsford International Airport. Besides flying, students were introduced to many other aviation career options, such as engineering, air traffic control, airport management and maintenance, emergency response, and search and rescue. Course instructor and department head Ian Newton comments, “I am very encouraged to see the amount of interest and support I have had for this program. These first students to enter the program have a significant advantage over other students wanting to enter aerospace as a career. They not only have insight to the jobs available, they also have a huge headstart in their groundschool training towards a private pilot’s licence.” In the current school year (201112), the program has been made available to all students in the district. Students from neighbouring schools may apply to this program and remain registered at their home school. This will allow a more diverse group of students in the Abbotsford district to have an opportunity to experience an aviation course, possibly leading to a future career in aviation. Industry involvement In RHSS’s Aviation 12 course, local industry involvement is essential. Students are given the opportunity to tour, work, and explore many career paths available in aviation. These opportunities are promoted by RHSS and encouraged by the community as a whole. Abbotsford International Airport itself and the following businesses on its premises are some of the facilities available for student tours and work experience: * Coastal Pacific Aviation provides training, as part of University of the Fraser Valley’s Bachelor of Aviation program, for many levels of pilot’s licence, including private pilot, multiengine, and IFR commercial. Coastal Pacific is the only flight training facility in the Fraser Valley to have a 3axis 747 flight simulator, along with eight other flight simulators available for RHSS aviation students. Introductory flights are also possible, and many RHSS students have taken advantage of this opportunity. * Cascade Aerospace is an Engineering and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility that currently provides servicing for the Canadian Air Force C130 Hercules fleet. * Conair is Canada’s largest mobilized aviation firefighting provider. * Chinook Helicopter is Abbotsford Airport’s Helicopter servicing and training facility. * WestJet * NAV Canada Air Traffic Control Tower (tours). * Abbotsford International Air Show committee. Guest speakers for aviation are also are readily available in this city. RHSS Aviation 12 has already had Air Canada captains, Flight Instructors, Air Traffic Controllers, and other aerospace representatives come to speak to the class. With the CCAA AMOP program, guest speaker and jobshadowing opportunities will expand to include Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs), engineering, and servicing. AMOP in Abbotsford The Abbotsford School District plans to develop a full program called the Aviation Academy at Rick Hansen SS. The addition of CCAA’s AMOP program will add the dimensions of aircraft con struction and maintenance to its current curriculum.
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