WestJet (WS, Calgary) will receive the lion's share of CAD3 million Canadian dollars (USD2.2 million) in support from the Alberta government as part of the province's CAD9.6 million (USD7 million) investment in the aviation industry.

Alberta is investing CAD5 million (USD3.6 million) in an Aviation Skills Grant programme in 2024-25 for the province's growing aviation industry and CAD4.6 million (USD3.3 million) to support community airports through a Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Programme. Under the skills development scheme, 14 aviation companies will be granted up to CAD30,000 (USD22,000) per trainee to help offset training costs for new or vacant posts. The skills initiative aims to strengthen the province's aerospace sector, where more than half of required training is for pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers, which are key in-demand occupations for Alberta's aviation industry. The grant is part of "Alberta at Work", a multi-year provincial skills development investment of more than CAD700 million (USD515 million).

As the biggest recipient, WestJet will use its share of CAD3 million to train an estimated 1,151 employees to fill positions for pilots, aircraft instrument, electrical, and avionics mechanics; technicians and inspectors; pursers and flight attendants; and airline ticket and service agents.

Budget carriers Lynx Air (Calgary) and Flair Airlines (F8, Kelowna) will receive CAD300,000 (about USD220,000) and CAD297,489 (about USD219,000) respectively. Lynx Air plans to use its grant to train 310 new and existing employees, including cabin crew, flight crew (ground school), and operations duty managers. Flair Airlines will train 100 employees in aviation safety auditing and investigation, flight attendant, flight operations, aircraft maintenance, and aircraft type training. It will use the funds to fill open positions for engineering inspectors and regulatory offices; mechanical engineers; transportation route and crew schedulers; air traffic controllers (and related occupations); aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors; pursers and flight attendants; and aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors.

"Alberta's aviation industry is soaring to new heights, and the province is well on its way to becoming Canada's next aviation hub. Funding delivered through the Aviation Skills Grant will help Alberta's aviation employers access the skills and talent they need to grow their businesses and support vitality in the sector," Alberta's Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, Matt Jones, commented in a statement.

"As a landlocked province, investing in our aerospace industry is key to developing economic corridors, expanding market access, and helping create local jobs. These investments, along with the Aviation Skills Grant, demonstrate our government's commitment to growing Alberta's aviation sector," said Alberta Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors, Devin Dreeshen. In 2022, there were 272 air transportation-related businesses in Alberta, with an estimated 25,000 people employed in the industry.

Other grant recipients include the following:

  • Adventure Aviation: The flight school and chartered flight provider in Grande Prairie will receive CSD46,690 (about USD34,000) to provide pilot training;
  • Air Spray (1967) (ASB, Red Deer): The fire-fighting expert will receive up to CAD232,228 (about USD170,00) for pilot and maintenance training for multiple aircraft types in their fleet;
  • Bristow Instruments: The aircraft instrument and accessory sales and service provider for rotor and fixed-wing aircraft will receive CAD242,841 (about USD179,000) to develop and conduct aviation equipment maintenance training, as well as aviation and aerospace manager training;
  • Calgary Flying Club: The flight training school will receive CAD279,690 (about USD206,000) to conduct aircraft type training for 20 flight instructors;
  • Can-West Corporate Air Charters: The operator of air ambulance, charter, and maintenance services at bases across Alberta will receive CAD300,000 (about USD220,000) for aircraft type training of 36 new pilots;
  • Edmonton Flying Club: The flight school will receive CSD80,000 (about USD59,000) for aircraft type training for flight instructors;
  • Kenn Borek Air (KBA, Calgary): The specialist in charters, aircraft management services, aircraft maintenance, and aircraft and parts sales will receive CAD297,076 (about USD218,000) to provide aircraft type training for 25 new pilots;
  • Klarenbach Aviation: The aircraft maintenance organisation for private aircraft owners and commercial operators will receive CAD156,625 (about USD115,000) for aircraft maintenance training of aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors;
  • Sky Wings Aviation Academy: The flight training school will receive CAD11,100 (about USD8,000) for aircraft type training;
  • Synergy Aviation: The expert in aerial surveillance and pipeline integrity monitoring, specialised geomatics, remote pilot operators, chartered flights, tours, and a helicopter flight school will receive CAD86,875 (about USD64,000) for aircraft type and maintenance training of new pilots and aviation maintenance engineers; and
  • West Wind Airspray: The provider of agriculture and forestry air spraying services will receive CAD30,000 (USD22,000) to conduct aircraft type training.