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City of Cold Lake and Portage College partner to establish aircraft maintenance engineering school

In a development aimed at fostering economic growth and leveraging the region’s strong aviation culture, the city of Cold Lake has embarked on a partnership with Portage College to establish an Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) school. 


“This project came about through our economic development process and was developed as a way to strengthen and diversify our local economy while also building on the strong partnership we have with Portage College and the aviation culture that exists here,” Mayor Craig Copeland said in a release.  


The partnership between the city of Cold Lake and Portage College has been in progress for nearly three years. During this time, the city completed a feasibility study for the school, created a building design, and advanced the project to a “shovel-ready” stage.  


To facilitate the establishment of the AME school, Cold Lake city council has approved a grant of $88,000 to Portage College to purchase an AME Structures (AME-S) curriculum. Additionally, the city has earmarked land at the Cold Lake Regional Airport to construct the AME school, with detailed plans already in place for the facility’s design.  

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“We are deeply committed to meeting the training needs of our communities and ASE-S training has long been part of the vision of the city of Cold Lake,” said Dr. Donna Feledichuk, Vice President of Academic and Reasearch at Portage College. 


The design to establish an AME school in Cold Lake is further supported by the region’s growing aerospace and defense sector, marked by the continued sustainment of the F-18, the anticipated arrival of the F-35, and future training jet initiatives for the Royal Canadian Air Force. With its rich aviation history, including the presence of the Art Smith Aviation Academy and the Cold Lake Air Cadet Camp, the city is well-positioned to become a hub for aviation-related education and training.  


The city of Cold Lake remains committed to collaborating with Portage College and other stakeholders to secure a suitable facility for the AME school, tailor the curriculum to local needs, and ensure the program’s successful launch.  

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