Canadian government donates surplus Coast Guard helicopters

The Government of Canada is supporting the development of well-trained, skilled personnel to serve the aerospace industry of the future by donating surplus Coast Guard assets to colleges and universities across Canada. These donations are helping to support aircraft maintenance training in Canada, providing practical and hands-on experience to students.

The Aerospace Centre of Excellence at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, has received a Canadian Coast Guard MBB Bo.105 helicopter. Canadian Coast Guard Photo
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The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, has announced that the Aerospace Centre of Excellence at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, B.C., has received a Canadian Coast Guard Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) Bo.105 helicopter. Nine other educational training institutions located across Canada have also received a donated Bo.105 helicopter.

The 10 Coast Guard Bo.105 helicopters were in service in the Canadian Coast Guard for more than 30 years. The first Bo.105 helicopter was purchased by the Coast Guard in April 1985, and the last unit was purchased in April of 1988. The helicopter fleet plays an essential part in supporting programs such as icebreaking, marine communication, aids to navigation, environmental response, waterway protection, conservation and protection, science, and support to other government departments as required.

As part of the Coast Guard’s Fleet Renewal Plan, the Government of Canada has purchased and deployed 22 new helicopters–15 light-lift helicopters (Bell 429s) and seven medium-lift helicopters (Bell 412EPIs).

“The donation of this Coast Guard helicopter as a training aid is invaluable to Northern Lights College,” said Mark Heartt, dean of trades and apprenticeships, Northern Lights College. “Gifts like these allow us to better serve the people in our communities by delivering accessible, affordable, and applied education.”

“This twin-engine, four-blade helicopter fills a big void we had in our program,” said Curtis Newby, instructor, aircraft maintenance engineering, Northern Lights College. “For the federal government to donate it to us is fantastic. It’s exactly what we wanted. It’s exactly what we needed.”

Minister Wilkinson has also announced that the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Alta., has received a Coast Guard MBB Bo.105 helicopter.

“I am proud that these Coast Guard helicopters will help develop students across the country allowing them to have practical and hands-on experience,” said Minister Wilkinson. “These assets have a lot of history and are part of the Coast Guard’s heritage. I am glad that they will benefit the generations to come in building high-level aircraft maintenance expertise.”

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology will use the donated MBB Bo.105 helicopter to teach students in the university’s aircraft maintenance engineering program. Canadian Coast Guard Photo

“I am pleased to see that Canadian institutions like the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology will benefit from the Coast Guard’s helicopter donations,” said Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. “Training on real helicopters further advances the skills and knowledge that students will bring to the aviation industry upon graduation.”

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“SAIT is honoured to receive this generous donation from the Canadian Coast Guard,” said Jim Szautner, dean, SAIT School of Transportation. “The Bo.105 helicopter is being used to teach students in our aircraft maintenance engineering program, ensuring they graduate as productive technicians with the hands-on practical skills that industry demands.”

Quick facts

  • In total, 10 Transport Canada-approved training institutes offering aircraft maintenance engineer programs across Canada have received a donated Bo.105 helicopter.
  • The Canadian training institutes receiving the donated Bo.105 helicopters include: Northern Lights College, Dawson Creek, B.C.; British Columbia Institute of Technology, Richmond, B.C.; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alta.; Red River College, Winnipeg, Man.; Canadore College, North Bay, Ont.; Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology, Scarborough, Ont.; Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ont.; École nationale d’aérotechnique (Cégep Édouard-Montpetit), Saint-Hubert, Que.; Nova Scotia Community College, Dartmouth, N.S.; and College of the North Atlantic, Gander, N.L.
  • The Canadian Coast Guard has completed construction and delivery of 15 Bell 429 light-lift helicopters and seven Bell 412EPI medium-lift helicopters as part of its ongoing Fleet Renewal Plan. All 22 of the new helicopters have been deployed to Coast Guard bases across the country.
  • The Canadian Coast Guard is currently building a full-flight simulator that will provide a platform for training for the new fleet.
  • The Bo.105s will be used by the recipient institutions for hands-on training for mechanical and engineering programs.

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