DND and Canadore partnership the stuff of ‘great things’

The motto of Canadore College, “Great Things Happen Here,” is no exaggeration.

Jacobs stands outside plane with Canadore College livery
Air Cadet Michael Jacobs at Canadore College’s Aviation Campus during the Airport Operations Course on July 17, 2018. DND/Canadore Photo

One of those “great things” is the dynamic aviation training for 130 air cadets from across Canada that occurs every summer. One of these exceptional youth is 17-year-old Michael Jacobs from Olds, Alta.

The Advanced Aviation Technology Courses (AATC) exist as a partnership between the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadore College.

The two courses, Airport Operations and Aircraft Maintenance, are six-week long national courses in which air cadets partake in from across Canada. Through a long selection process, the cadets selected are amongst the most passionate for the aviation sector.

With the help of Canadore College, DND is training the next generation of the aviation sector in North Bay, Ont.

Jacobs may be young, but he has ambitious goals. He has been a cadet with 185 Olds Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron (RCACS) for four years, having joined out of curiosity for what his friends were up to once a week on cadet training nights.

Nevertheless, “I really like air cadets. It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” said Jacobs with a smile.

Since joining, he had a multitude of unique experiences that a teenager could not find anywhere else.

Now he pursued the Airport Operations Course at AATC Canadore with the hopes of pursuing air traffic control as a future career in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

“I’ve always had a passion for aviation, because my dad was a pilot,” said Jacobs. “Cadets directly influenced all my career and education decision actually, and so far the Airport Operations course is helping me learn aviation on the ground and that really is my specific interest and passion.”

To be one of the 130 selected out of close to 1,000 applicants is a great achievement.

One can only imagine how elated Jacobs was when he received his acceptance to the course. It took months of preparation in order for Jacobs to be at AATC; he studied for the merit review board by reading and learning as much about airport operations as possible.


“I had to know the course before taking the course essentially,” he said. The competition was tough, but Jacobs’ determination turned adversity into a challenge by choice that he clearly overcame.

Since 2008, Canadore College has hosted AATC. The Airport Operations course is excellent for the future Air Traffic Controller like cadet Jacobs.

Since beginning this course, Jacobs has touched on all aspects of airport operations from air traffic flow, meteorology, to airport security. He even got the chance to taxi, marshal, and refuel aircraft as part of ground handling training.

The future looks bright for the aviation sector with youth like Jacobs soon to join the industry.

However, the memories and unique experiences that he received as a cadet will never fail him no matter what future he chooses.

Nevertheless, through the Air Cadet Program and Canadore College, bright and passionate youth are being empowered to pursue their aviation dreams.     .

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