Alberta’s economy has momentum and the government remains focused on creating good-paying jobs, economic growth and diversification. With the rapid growth of Alberta’s aviation industry, more skilled workers are needed to keep the aviation industry flying at 36,000 feet without turbulence. Employers have confirmed that support is needed to help diversify the aviation industry and develop the employees they need.

Alberta’s government is answering the call with the new Aviation Skills Grant. This $5-million investment to strengthen Alberta’s aviation talent pool will bring the increased air traffic businesses require to keep growing. In addition, it will create more good-paying jobs for Albertans. 

“Alberta’s aviation industry is flying and we’re making the investments that will create Canada’s next major aviation hub right here in Alberta. With the Renewed Alberta Advantage inspiring businesses and people to join us from Canada and the world, we are adding the necessary supports to ensure everyone has a safe, successful landing in Alberta.” 

Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development

With recent major announcements from De Havilland, WestJet and many others, Alberta’s government did not need STOL technology to fuel the province’s aviation sector’s speedy takeoff. To continue the momentum, the government is demonstrating its commitment to growing aviation industry support through record aviation infrastructure funding and post-secondary expansions.

“Alberta’s government knows that economic corridors are a critical tool to help attract nation-building projects that create jobs and strengthen our communities. That’s why we’re investing nearly $35 million in airport infrastructure to support the air and cargo needs of Alberta businesses so that they can compete globally.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors

“Along with my ministry's $11-million investment in post-secondary aviation education, these investments will help ensure Alberta’s air industry has the resources and workforce it needs to succeed, further supporting the growth and vitality of Alberta’s aviation industry, the diversifying of our economy and leading more students to successful careers.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

The Aviation Skills Grant program will provide Alberta-based aviation employers up to $30,000 per trainee to help offset training costs for new or vacant positions. Eligible employers include Alberta-based aviation companies that provide training within the province, including scheduled and non-scheduled air transportation, support for air transportation, and aerospace product and parts manufacturing. This $5-million annual grant for the 2023-2024 fiscal year will offset the training costs necessary to meet employers' skilled labour needs.

“De Havilland Canada is pleased to see the additional investment by the Government of Alberta into growing the aerospace sector in the province. The creation of high-paying jobs starts with training and programs such as these, which are invaluable to our company and sector. We are looking forward to growing our company in Alberta by employing skilled Albertans across De Havilland Canada.”

Brenda Allen, chief people officer, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada 

“WestJet welcomes the government’s investment in training. Given our economic importance to Alberta and our growth plan that will see 2,200 new employees hired this year, we applaud the continued prioritization of the airline and aerospace industries by the government.”

Andy Gibbons, vice-president, External Affairs, WestJet Airlines

“Launching the Aviation Skills Grant now is timely for all the aviation environments to move forward out of the pandemic into a new era, and benefits will be seen across multiple sectors. Providing resources to support training from aircraft maintenance engineers to pilots to managers is important to moving our Alberta economy forward while providing employment in Alberta.”

Brian Andrus, board secretary, Alberta Aviation Council 

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

Quick facts

  • Applications are open from April 21 to May 26.

  • Employers can receive up to $30,000 per employee to a maximum of $3 million to support training initiatives.

  • Alberta’s aviation industry is ranked third in Canada by company size.

    • In 2022, there were 272 air transportation-related businesses in Alberta.

  • Alberta’s aviation industry employed 24,500 people (as of February 2023).

  • The Ministry of Advanced Education is investing $11 million over the next three years into training more workers to support the aviation industry, including:

    • $6 million to support Mount Royal University’s new bachelor of aviation management program

    • $4.5 million to support $10,000 student bursaries

    • $500,000 to support an aviation centre of excellence

  • The Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development recently invested $5 million to support the training efforts of Elevate Aviation.

    • Elevate Aviation has a successful track record of increasing diversity in the aviation industry through jobs skills training, mentorship and employment support.

  • The Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors is investing:

    • $30 million to support expansion of the Red Deer airport

    • $4.6 million through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program to support infrastructure improvements in community airports