Events Stories of Caledon

Let Your Career Take Flight

Written by Patti Foley

Look up! Have you ever caught yourself gazing skyward and feeling a rush at the thought of becoming a pilot?

The sky need not be the limit. It can be part of a rewarding career in aviation that for many is a passion as much as it is employment. And if the idea is going to take flight you can start your journey right here in Caledon at the Brampton Flight Centre (BFC).

Thousands of pilots have trained and graduated from BFC flight training programs since its inception in 1946. Brampton Flight College, the professional training arm of BFC, is an aviation career training organization with a proven track record, dedicated to producing qualified pilots, job-ready for charter and commuter operators and familiar with current industry expectations.

The College offers two professional programs – the Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License (IATPL) Diploma Program and a Professional Pilot Diploma Program. Both are full-time, highly structured programs with a duration of 20 months and 14 months respectively. They are designed for people looking to pursue a career in aviation and who would like to accomplish their training as quickly and expertly as possible.

We spoke with Sydney DeHoop, Campus Administrator at the Flight Centre. “The IATPL is designed for those who know that they specifically want to get into the airlines, such as Air Canada, and get there and get their seniority number as quickly as possible” she explained. “The College program is more focussed on general aviation and not pointing you in any specific direction, so it works for someone who is unsure about where they want their aviation career to take them.”

“The two programs run simultaneously” Sydney continues. “The IATPL completes the flight training at the same time as the College program. At that point the College program participants graduate and the IATPL gets into the ATPL ground school and starts preparing for two major exams required for airline-level licencing – the SARON and the SAMRA – which deal with airline regulations, meteorology and navigation.

Because the IATPL is an integrated program, training to higher standards rather than the Transport Canada minimums, participants are able to write the two exams earlier than the industry standard. At the end of their program IATPL students complete a small portion of their training at CAE and are evaluated in the same full-motion simulators that Air Canada and all major airlines use. This enables them to have real world experience before being evaluated in an interview with an airline.

These are credible programs and accordingly BFC does get a lot of applicants. There is a formal application process which opens in January and accepts applications until roughly mid-March. The next step is the interview process and those accepted will commence their training in July.

While application is open all ages beyond grade 12 graduation Sydney says it also of interest for mature students pursuing second careers. As well, anyone can apply regardless of whether they have a background in aviation. However, you must have completed an introductory flight to ensure you are comfortable in a small aircraft. Tuition is paid in instalments and pay-as-you-fly to avoid large upfront costs.

More information can be found at or by emailing Sydney at or register for a virtual information seminar the evening of November 23rd. Register HERE

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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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