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Flightpath Program

WE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING

Given the current climate with the aviation industry, isn't it a bad time to pursue aviation as a career? Actually, the opposite is true! The aviation industry has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but prior to Covid, the industry was experiencing unprecedented growth and opportunity. 

What we do know is that these opportunities did not go away, they have just been put on hold. In fact, the pilot shortage that existed pre-pandemic will be even more prominent once the industry recovers due to things like early retirements. In a way, you can think of pilot opportunities as a sleeping giant right now.

There is no guarantee as to when the industry will fully recover and be back to pre-pandemic numbers, but history tells us it will be back! It should recover with a nice, steady growth year-over-year. Given it takes approximately three years of training and working to prepare yourself for the airlines, there is no better time to start than right now!

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ABOUT THE PROGRAM

In 2018 Springbank Air Training College partnered with WestJet to create the WestJet Flightpath Program. We were the very first traditional flight school in Canada to offer such a partnership! The goal of this program is to enhance the training programs at SATC and to facilitate career opportunities for students. This is to be achieved by providing clear, steady training and a development path for new aviation students. WestJet will provide operational and training expertise, training materials, standards. crew resource management and exposure to WestJet facilities. 

Students that are selected to the program will complete the CPL and Multi-IFR program with SATC, as well as an Instructor Rating if they so choose.  The program contains many WestJet-specific components that better prepare the students for a career with WestJet and bolster the level of training above the basic Transport Canada requirements.  Some of these components include nutrition, fatigue, and addiction training.  There is additional focus on CRM and two crew Line-Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) scenarios.  Once the training is complete the students may stay on at SATC as flight instructors, where they will continue to enhance their skills by training new pilots and attending additional sessions at WestJet.  

Once the program is completed and the student has a minimum of 250 hours, they will be eligible to conduct a preliminary interview with WestJet. This allows WestJet to meet the student and get to know what they bring to the company. Students who are successful in the interview will be monitored by WestJet while they progress through their flying careers, until such time that they meet the hour requirement for employment with the company. After passing a final evaluation by WestJet, they would then be hired as a Q400 First Officer at WestJet Encore, their first role in the WestJet Group of Companies. 

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WHAT'S THE PROCESS?

Step 1: Get your PPL

Before you can apply to the WestJet Flightpath program, you must hold a Private Pilot License. Please click the button below for more information on our PPL course.

When you apply, let us know that your intention is to enroll in the WJFP program and we will schedule you full-time, as you would be once enrolled. On average, students who commit to their PPL training full-time are able to complete in 4-5 months!

Step 2: Apply to the WestJet Flightpath Program

After submitting the application form here on our website, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Conduct an interview with a member of our staff,

  • In the case of students who did not complete their PPL training at SATC or are no longer current, pass a check flight with a member of our staff 

Once you have been successful in the above steps, a member of our team will be in contact to finalize your admission in the program! Our next intake will be on July 5, 2021

Step 3: Complete the WestJet Flightpath Program

In addition to our CPL, Multi-Engine and IFR Syllabus, WJFP students will be able to partake in some of the following activities:

  • Knowledge-sharing sessions with WestJet team members,**

  • Networking events at WestJet HQ, which sometimes include sessions in their 737 simulators,**

  • Mock Interviews with WestJet recruiters to get a feel for what it's like to be in the hot seat,**

  • Multi-Crew training,

  • LOFT scenario training at SATC. This gives you a chance to run full flights in a multi-crew environment.

 

**Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these items may be unavailable, or only available virtually. Program cost will be adjusted accordingly

Step 4: Interview at WestJet

After completing the program and reaching 250 hours, you will be able to conduct a preliminary interview with the WestJet Group of Companies. Successful completion of this interview starts your profile with WestJet, and they will monitor you as you build your experience. 

Once you meet the requirements below, you will then undergo final evaluations that, if successful, will land you a Q400 First Officer position with WestJet Encore. 

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HOW DO I GET FROM A 172 TO HERE?

WestJet Encore Interview Requirements

  • Valid Transport Canada Group 1 Instrument Rating,

  • Valid Transport Canada Category 1 Medical Certificate,

  • Minimum 250 hours total time,

  • Oral and written proficiency in English,

  • High School Diploma, and

  • Valid Passport.

Non-Canadian passport holders also require:

  • A valid permanent resident card, and

  • All visas necessary to operate within WestJet's network.

Desirables

  • College or university degree or diploma

  • Scheduled airline and/or military flight experience

  • Glass cockpit and/or FMS experience

  • Proficiency in a second language

  • Internal WestJet and/or WestJet Encore referral

  • Current chief pilot, chief flight instructor or direct supervisor's referral

  • Multi-Engine time

WestJet Encore Hiring Requirements**

  • Legally entitled to work in Canada,

  • Transport Canada Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) preferred,

  • 1000 hours total time (fixed wing preferred),

  • 200 hours fixed-wing pilot-in-command time (multi-engine or high-performance single engine turbine PIC preferred),

  • 250 hours fixed-wing multi-engine time preferred (high performance single engine multi- crew turbine can be included towards your multi-engine experience – for example, PC-12),

  • Valid Transport Canada Group 1 instrument rating,

  • Valid Transport Canada Class 1 medical certificate,

  • Restricted area identification card (RAIC) obtained prior to the completion of initial ground school,

  • Successful completion of pre-employment alcohol and drug screening test, and

  • Valid passport.

Non-Canadian passport holders also require:

  • A valid permanent resident card, and

  • All visas necessary to operate within WestJet's network.

**These figures were the requirements for employment pre-COVID. Actual requirements when hiring resumes may be different. 

Mind the Gap!

You have probably noticed that the hiring requirements are quite a bit higher than the interview requirements. You might be asking yourself "How do I get to 1000 hours?"

We hope you're ready to work! Finding a flying job is the best way to build your hours and experience before flying for an airline.

 

Instructing is a fantastic avenue to build your hours while passing your knowledge on to the next generation of aviators. If that sounds like something you are interested in, consider applying for your Instructor rating after completing the WJFP program!