Cornwall to fund up to $50,000 for aeronautic center of excellence study

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – Officials with the proposed university are flying high with hopes of establishing a degree and a center for excellence in aviation training.

And they got their wish to move ahead as city council moved to fund the next phase and possibly the third phase of bringing the center of excellence.

The plans deviates somewhat from establishing a full-fledged university.

The most the City of Cornwall would fund for the next two phases of the study would be $50,000 – money that would come from tender savings.

The United Counties and other partners are expected to kick in money as well – $20,000 from SD&G. Cornwall’s money would be conditional on the county pitching in.

Gail Kaneb told council Carleton University is on board though training is not their specialty. “There could be a lot of synergies,” she said.

“I have goosebumps. It’s a very exciting idea,” Coun. Brock Frost said.

The consultants from Montreal firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton explained that Cornwall is in a niche area and a corridor. They would like to build a center of aeronautic and aerospace training of excellence.

It’s believed it could attract a major flight simulator company like CAE.

“Primary objective is to get program and services in Cornwall. There’s a particular niche here that’s here,” the consultant said.

It was explained the political timing is also right with Ontario and Quebec premiers aligned on major issues and an upcoming federal election there’s an urge to move on the proposal.

“It would be nice to see it (Nav Center) return to its original roots, I wonder how feasible it is (the infrastructure),” Coun. Bernadette Clement queried.

Nav Center Manager Kim Coe-Turner says assets in very good shape including the whole academic wing that was left abandoned in 2010.

“When we get the deans in (from Carleton University) they feel it’s only a few years old,” she said. She says also the other infrastructure such as weather reading equipment is still there.

“First meeting, I didn’t have that warm and fuzzy feeling. That changed when I met with Carleton University,” Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said.

Couns. Elaine MacDonald and Brock Frost tabled the motion to fund the next phase of the study and possibly the third.

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