Nova Scotia Flight School hits snag
By CNW Group
Sept. 7, 2010, Yarmouth, N.S. – The Cape Breton Flight Institute (CBFI) is disappointed Enterprise Cape Breton (ECBC) felt it was necessary to seek the appointment of a receiver despite CBFI's offer to settle its debt with the federal agency.
By CNW Group
Sept. 7, 2010, Yarmouth, N.S. – The Cape Breton Flight Institute (CBFI) is
disappointed Enterprise Cape Breton (ECBC) felt it was necessary to seek
the appointment of a receiver despite CBFI's offer to settle its debt
with the federal agency.
"This is a responsible company that meets its commitments. We made ECBC
an offer that would have resulted in repayment of the loan and we are
sorry they didn't see fit to accept it. They have to do what they think
is best, and I guess we have to live with it," said Bill Gardiner,
chairman of the Flying Phoenix Aviation Group (FPAG), the parent company
Mr Gardiner acknowledged that the company ran into a number of
obstacles in its plans to open a flight school in Sydney, but says those
obstacles are delays only and can be overcome. The company has not
given up on Sydney.
Private investment in CBFI and FPAG exceeds $1.1 million and the private
investors are confident in the solid business plan. That plan is based
on training pilots, maintenance engineers and other workers required for
the burgeoning Chinese airline sector – expected to double in size and
become the second largest aviation market in the world within five years
"We have an outstanding team in Nova Scotia and have built vital links
and partnerships in China that position our company and Nova Scotia to
take advantage of an excellent opportunity to compete successfully in
the global marketplace in the aviation education sector," Mr. Gardiner
The flight school plan hit a snag when the Chinese government's aviation
regulator, Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) froze all
international applications for accreditation to train Chinese pilots.
That freeze won't be lifted until procedures to assure the quality of
training programs that receive Chinese students are in place. FPAG has
Transport Canada certification which will meet the Chinese standard.
Mr. Gardiner said he understands why ECBC felt it necessary to call its
loan, as little progress has been made on the Sydney school since the
CAAC freeze. However FPAG has significantly advanced its connections in
China and plans to operate additional training programs that do not
require CAAC sanction, from the Yarmouth airport.
The company had offered to sell an airplane hangered in Sydney in order
to repay ECBC and meet any other outstanding obligations to Sydney
airport. The aircraft has a market value of $200,000 and would seem to
be adequate security for a $108,600 loan.
China intends to build 240 new airports and acquire thousands of new
aircraft over the next decade. That expansion will require thousands of
trained aviation professionals.
Mr. Gardiner said Nova Scotia has the assets to take advantage of that
market, including under-used infrastructure, particularly at the
Yarmouth and Sydney airports. English is the language of international
aviation, making North America a preferred destination for international