LONDON, ONT. -- Aviation has been a dream for student Liza Sara, who is fulfilling that dream with the help of the Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology at Fanshawe College.

“We have a handful of amazing professor who have spent over 30 years in this industry and they try to teach us everything they can around this,” says Sara.

“We don’t just learn how to do the job but everything around it like safety and attitude that’s the important steps we have to do.”

Her classmate, second-year student Martin Ormaza, says that Fanshawe was the right choice when it comes to academics in aviation.

“The facilities are great in here, all the equipment we have. all the airplanes and the aircrafts and we have a couple helicopters too and we get to put our hands on them.”

Fanshawe College created the aviation school a number of years ago, however it was four years ago that it grew to a more hands-on, state-of-the-art program when the college took over the former Air Canada Jazz hangar beside the London International Airport.

“The core of our program, when it first started out, was all about aircraft maintenance and engineering,” says Larry Weir, associate dean of the Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology.

“It was two kinds of programs, one was the M-licence which was maintenance and mechanical and E-licence which is electronics.”

Weir says in the four years more aviation programs have been added.

There are now approximately 350 students at the Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology with five programs to choose from and the school continues to expand.

“The exciting program we are adding is a three-year advanced diploma in commercial aviation flight leadership where the graduates will learn the business of aviation but also graduate with a commercial pilot licence.”

Weir says the program offers a perfect balance for students wanting to succeed in an aviation career.

“There is an awful lot of equipment that the students here work on every day,” says Weir. “It’s 50 per cent theory work and classrooms and then 50 per cent on the floor where they have an amazing opportunity to work with both our rotary wing and fixed-wing aircrafts.”

The program also has a more than 95 per cent success rate when it comes to employment for graduates.

Weir expects that number to continue to soar as the program continues to grow and evolve.

“Dreaming big is really what we are doing here now and what we really want to do is to continue to build the aviation sector and respond to the aviation demands here in Southwestern Ontario.”

Information about the Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology can be found at: