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New training business for aviation mechanics and technicians aims to solve critical skills shortage

Montreal, QC -- Sept. 24, 2002 -- Air Canada Technical Services has created a distinct unit dedicated to the traini...


Montreal, QC — Sept. 24, 2002 — Air Canada Technical Services has created a distinct unit dedicated to the training of technical and safety professionals for the North American aviation industry.

The new business, called Tracor, addresses an expected shortage of skilled technicians in the aviation industry, with emphasis on various technical skills as well as management development and safety training. It is planned to be operational by late fall 2002.

The need to train qualified aviation mechanics and technicians is critical, according to the organization. Industry studies forecast that an additional 11,000 skilled aviation workers will be required in Canada over the next five years, of which a significant number will be required by Air Canada Technical Services to address normal attrition as well as the projected growth of its MRO business in North America.

“The sheer demand for experienced aerospace technicians in the future can no longer be met by relying entirely on community college training,” explains Bill Zoeller, vice-president, special projects, Air Canada Technical Services. “Tracor will address shortfalls in skilled professionals by offering specialized training programs and by partnering with community colleges and other educational institutions across Canada. We believe that an entrepreneurial focus on education will stabilize the human resource supply situation and provide technical industries with a competitive advantage.”

Along with classroom instruction, Tracor intends to use the latest technology to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of training. E-based training, for example, will incorporate animated, Internet-based training modules that can be made available to employees in their workplace.

A website portal and Learning Management System (LMS) will also be used, enabling students to register for courses and provide them with information and options ranging from fee structures to course-content chat rooms.

“On the competitive MRO front in North America, the timing simply couldn’t be better to establish a market entry advantage for Tracor,” said Zoeller.

Tracor will be a distinct company with Air Canada Technical Services as the majority owner. Most of the staff complement will come from the Air Canada Technical Services Training Department.

Air Canada Technical Services provides maintenance, engineering, repair, supply and purchasing to support Air Canada’s mainline fleet of more than 220 aircraft, as well as other airline customers, in five maintenance categories: airframes, engines, components, line and aircraft cabins. It also provides material and supply chain management services to the airline industry. It operates six major maintenance base centres located across Canada: in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.