The skies above Claresholm will be buzzing with activity in the next year, as Canadian Flight Instruction (CFI) is in the process of applying to bring a flight training school to the town’s airport.
“We will be offering the full thing — private pilots licence, multi-engine, commercial licenses, and we have plans for the future,” said Bruno Jaguande, chief flying instructor with CFI.
The airport is in the industrial area of the M.D of Willow Creek. The existing terminal will be leased and eventually a hangar will be built for the school. The M.D hopes it’s the first of many.
“We initiated some subdivisions to accommodate the flight school, and we are currently working on a redevelopment plan which will see the creation of additional 10 or so lots,” said CAO Derrick Krizsan.
Claresholm has a rich aviation history which includes flight training. It was created during the Second World War under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and used as a key training base for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“I’m an ex-officer for the Peruvian Navy, I’m so connected to that kind of stuff, so I was so in love and started asking about Claresholm and its history,” Jaguande said.
“To bring that tradition of flight training back to this area is exciting for all of us here in Claresholm,” Krizsan added.
The school will start out small with about a dozen students. The intent is to build up over time to around 50 full-time students. The school will also have a flight simulator and a couple of airplanes to start.
“We are starting with only one Cessna 172 and one twin Comanche, a multi engine, that’s all for now and we will grow as we need,” added Jaguande.
If the approval process goes smoothly, Canadian Flight Instruction could have students in the air as early as February.