Wings Magazine

Canadian Flight Academy leaving Oshawa

June 18, 2024  By Phil Lightstone

The Canadian Flight Academy recently purchased a Tecnam P2006T twin engine trainer. (Photo: Humberto Villalobos)

On June 11, 2024, the City of Oshawa announced: “The City of Oshawa (the “City”) and Canadian Flight Academy Ltd. (“CFA”) have agreed to a mutual resolution of their ongoing litigation. CFA has agreed to cease all in-air flight training activities at the Oshawa Executive Airport (the “Airport”) by December 31, 2025. CFA has agreed to depart the Airport by March 31, 2026.”

It has been reported that the long running lawsuit could see the City of Oshawa agreeing to pay as much as $5.2 million in damages to CFA. It is also reported that the CFA has spent upwards of $7 million in upgrades to its training facility. While much of the City’s complaint centres around noise, CFA had recently purchased a Tecnam P2006T twin engine trainer ( for roughly US$700,000. The Tecnam is equipped with Rotax engines which has a much lower noise profile and are significantly quieter than most General Aviation focused trainer aircraft, e.g. Cessna 172’s and Piper Cherokee.

Further the Tecnam’s Rotax equipped aircraft can burn Mogas, eliminating the environmental issues surrounding leaded fuels such as 100LL (avgas). Enterprise Air, the FBO at the Oshawa Executive Airport (CYOO) has purchased a Mogas fueling station, allowing the Tecnam to run Mogas.

Like many municipalities where airport properties have been slowly encroached by housing developments, the City of Oshawa’s politicians are sensitive to the noise complaints of homeowners who have purchased or rented properties with the full knowledge of the airport’s operations. This has caused stress between the municipality, politicians and the airport stakeholders. While the airport provides a valuable service to the community, both in terms of economic contribution to the Durham area, the delivery of air ambulance services, the operation of police services helicopters (including the York Regional Police and Durham Police Air Units), a small but vocal minority, inclusive of property developers, would be happy with the demise of valuable infrastructure delivery valuable services for the greater good.


With the migration of many (not all) of the 250 aircraft from the now closed Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport (CYKZ), aircraft movements have increased slightly (the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s Study of 2017 found that the Canadian national average for aircraft hours in the GA sector to be 17). However, based upon this national average, the closure of CFA will see a significant reduction in traffic at the CYOO.
CFA’s student base is completely focused on Centennial College students in the Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Licence (IATPL) program. For GA and BA pilots looking to add ratings (e.g. IFR, Night, VFR Over the Top), there is no Flight Training Units at Oshawa to provide this valuable service. CFA has started a search for an airport to move their flight and ground school operations to. Historically, CFA has looked to airports like the Brantford Municipal Airport (CYFD) to operate from. Brantford is roughly a two hour drive and 115 km from Toronto (City Hall).

Not unlike Canadian Flyers move to Lindsay (when CYKZ closed), CFA will face labour issues surrounding the commute of flight instructors, maintenance resources, dispatchers and administrative staff from the Greater Toronto Area to a new airport. In an environment where the average flight instructor commits on one and half years before moving on to the airlines to a flight training unit, the creation of new pilots to help reduce the airline pilot shortage will be hampered by CFAs move. With CYOO’s infrastructure such as multiple runways, Nav Canada control tower, avionics shops, maintenance shops and IFR approaches, and others, CYOO is an ideal airport to facilitate the creation of airline operator’s future pilots.



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