Carleton cleared for landing aerospace center in Cornwall

Celebrating an aerospace center partnership between Carleton University and Nav Canada are, from left, Garry Brown (Director, International Training Programs and Delivery, Nav Canada), Dr. Rafik Goubran (Dean of Faculty and Engineering and Design, Carleton), MPP Grant Crack, Neil Wilson (Executive Vice President, Nav Canada), Roseann O'Reilly Runte (President, Carleton), Leslie O'Shaughnessy (Mayor, City of Cornwall), Kim Coe-Turner (General Manager, Nav Center). (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Celebrating an aerospace center partnership between Carleton University and Nav Canada are, from left, Garry Brown (Director, International Training Programs and Delivery, Nav Canada), Dr. Rafik Goubran (Dean of Faculty and Engineering and Design, Carleton), MPP Grant Crack, Neil Wilson (Executive Vice President, Nav Canada), Roseann O’Reilly Runte (President, Carleton), Leslie O’Shaughnessy (Mayor, City of Cornwall), Kim Coe-Turner (General Manager, Nav Center). (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A partnership between Carleton University and Nav Canada will see the creation of a Aerospace Center of Excellence in Cornwall by this time next year.

Officials with both organizations announced their preliminary plan to roughly 60 people at the Nav Center Tuesday afternoon.

The project is billed as the first and only one of its kind in Canada once it’s operational in the fall of 2016.

“We think this partnership is a great idea. It gives us the opportunity to combine…this academic facility with the academic excellence, strong credibility of the wonderful, first class university, recognized as that, such as Carleton to bring courses and programs that help prepare students for successful careers in aviation and aerospace sector,” said Neil Wilson, executive vice president of Nav Canada.

Wilson said the “Nav Center’s aviation and academic routes make it a great location for an Aerospace Center of Excellence in Eastern Ontario,” and the project had been in the works for “well over a few years.”

But there’s still a lot of planning and course preparation ahead.

“This is a very robust project and there’s a lot of work that has to be undertaken to get us to our long term goal which is essentially (a) post-graduate diploma programs in engineering aerospace aviation,” said Garry Brown, director of international training programs and delivery at Nav Canada.

The courses would likely concentrate on pilot training, air traffic management and airport management.

“We are looking at other opportunities to start something sooner and the first example would be on an accreditation for air traffic management. As for the throughput, we have to look at what the enrollment numbers are…the course has to be designed to match those enrollments and resources assigned to them appropriately,” Brown said.

Ideally, the class size would be around 30 students but with a massive facility, Brown told Cornwall Newswatch there may be the option to add additional classes in a specific course.

Also speaking at the event were MPP Grant Crack, who is also the parliamentary assistant to the education minister, Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and SD&G Warden Eric Duncan.

Mayor O’Shaughnessy reminisced about the idea of a university in Cornwall when it was first proposed two decades ago. The mayor also singled out Gerry Benson and the Joint Implementation Committee for moving the idea ahead. “There just so many people to thank for the accomplishments that have been obtained by the hard work of a few. Today’s announcement really puts the City of Cornwall on the map.”

“Aerospace is a growing industry, more air travel in the future, it’s going the other way, it’s going up, excuse the pun,” MPP Crack joked to light chuckles from the audience.

A look into the bowels of Nav Canada

The event also allowed Nav Canada staff to show off their aviation simulators – some of the equipment that Carleton will be able to tap into with the new program.

You may not know that the 627,000 square foot Nav Center holds the operational infrastructure (the ‘brains’ and computer servers) for air traffic control systems in some of Canada’s major airports.

One of the air traffic control simulators, seen here on Oct. 13, 2015, which gives students a real-life experience at some of Canada's biggest airports. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
One of the air traffic control simulators, seen here on Oct. 13, 2015, which gives students a real-life experience at some of Canada’s biggest airports. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Students get a real-life simulation by having access to off-line simulations of these programs to learn air traffic control at airports like Toronto and Calgary.

The Montreal Road facility also houses training programs for air traffic control training for the Department of National Defence (DND) and has 70,000 square feet of turnkey space for another business in the educational, meeting or academic sectors.

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