Centres of Excellence
Working with our industry partners, the School of Transportation has designed training facilities that provide a modern, practical, hands-on education. We have over 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities that provide an atmosphere nearly identical to what our students will see in the workforce with sophisticated training equipment and technology.
The Aero Centre's facilities and programs are designed and operated to meet SAIT and industry's standards, emphasizing exceptional classroom education and hands-on training. Corporate facilities and shared classroom space create opportunities for industry to conduct its own training or participate in joint training.
SAIT offers training on state-of-the-practice technology and equipment. Training is provided for a traditional student population as well as customized training according to client/sponsor needs. All programs are developed and delivered by instructors with superior industry experience and knowledge.
Occupying 17 acres of land at the Calgary International Airport, connected to Taxiway N, the Art Smith Aero Centre includes:
- A 21,000 sq. ft. hangar that can accommodate a 737-700
- 13 labs including: sheet metal, composite material, gas turbine, avionics, helicopter, reciprocating engine, aircraft maintenance, and computer labs
- 7 state-of-the-art classrooms
- Open study areas
- A cafeteria
- 110,000 sq. ft. concrete apron (ground side)
- 18,000 sq. ft. ancillary asphalt apron
Access to the facility is possible by private vehicle, public transportation or air.
Art Smith Aero Centre for Training and Technology
1916 McCall Landing NE
Calgary, AB, Canada, T2E 9B5
SAIT's Aviation History
Aviation started in earnest in 1930 with eight students in a full-time program called Aeronautics. Public training at SAIT was put on hold for the WWII years when the facility was taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force and became the No. 2 Wireless School under the British Commonwealth Training Plan.
Following the victory in Europe and Japan, classes resumed at the campus on North Hill and the aviation program became a three year Aeronautical Engineering program. Eleven years later in 1957, the modern era of aviation took hold with the addition of an Aircraft Maintenance Technology program which is known today as Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Technology.
As aviation grew as an industry in Canada, SAIT had to add more programs to meet industry demand. In 1975 the Avionics Technology program began and continues today. As the aviation department grew, it needed new facilities and while new facilities were being developed at the main SAIT campus, the aviation programs were moved to temporary facilities at the Calgary International Airport. In 1986, the aviation programs returned to the main campus to take up residence in the Colonel James Walker building.
In 1996 and in response to a need defined by the Department of National Defence, another aviation program was added: Aircraft Structures Technician. The addition of this program completed the evolution to the programs offered by SAIT today; however, newer and bigger challenges were still to come.
Leading up to the year 2000, the aviation industry began to realize that a significant percentage of their skilled maintenance work force were due to retire as the "baby-boomers" approached retirement age. That realization spurred the Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council (CAMC) and the Human Resources Department of Canada (HRDC) to team up and investigate the problem.
After 2 years of study, the conclusion was reached that the aviation industry was on the brink of a significant shortage of skilled workers and that trend was going to continue for at least 20 years. Armed with that revelation, SAIT took the lead in responding to industry demand for more aviation maintenance graduates and sought assistance to develop a new aviation campus at the Calgary International Airport.
After years of planning and with the collaborative support of the Alberta Provincial Government, the Government of Canada, the City of Calgary, the Calgary International Airport Authority and industry partners, a new facility, the Art Smith Aero Centre for Training and Technology (ACTT), was built on land connected to Taxiway "N", a celebrated jewel in SAIT's crown.
The School of Transportation has been providing premiere technology training solutions for the railway industry since the opening of its Centre for Rail Training and Technology (CRTT) in 1999. The CRTT offers modern, state-of-the-practice facilities, such as:
- A signal lab
- Regular switches and track setups
- A mini-rail yard with 300 feet of track
- Several rail cars with related air braking equipment
- Newly renovated classrooms and computer lab
Rail Training for the Future
Today, Canada's railway is faced with many exciting challenges and SAIT has positioned itself to work side by side with industry to meet those challenges. There is a demand in the railway industry for a workforce that can master new technologies and skills, and adapt to structural change. New employees who plan to make a career in railways as professional railroaders are crucial to the success of the industry. Our programs are designed to meet these needs.
SAIT delivers training solutions that are flexible, cost-effective, and practical. Most importantly, they're designed to give you the training you need, when you need it, and how you need it. We can provide improvements in the following areas: safety performance, reduced training costs, customer satisfaction, operations efficiencies, employee self-confidence and morale, and improved financial results. Whole teams or individual learners, full-time or part-time - our flexible delivery options are built to adapt to your needs. Employees can join an existing class, or you can create your own training program. Courses can be offered at your location, here at CRTT, via distance learning or in any combination. Our training possibilities are endless.
Experts in program design & delivery. Experts in assessment. Experts in accommodation. Some of our training programs include:
- Engineering: tracks and signals
- Mechanical: rolling stock and motive power
- Transportation: train operation and control/dispatch
The benefit to you: a skilled worker is a safe and productive worker.
From tracks and signals, to cars and locomotives, to operations and control - all aspects of the railway operations system are interconnected. The performance of one relies on the performance of the other. System performance relies on the performance of the workers. Training is an investment in that system. It's an investment in your employees, who are an integral part of your operation.
The Automotive Centre opened its doors in July 2002 and is a highly visible landmark on SAIT's main campus. After consulting and working with our industry partners, we were able to design a training facility that exceeded both students' and industry's expectations. The facility, built on three levels, offers 70,000 square feet of quality learning space including:
- 35,000 square feet dedicated to hands-on training in three Automotive Bays with the capacity to house 60 training vehicles
- Six e-learning classrooms fully equipped with internet capability and laptop-ready stations for every student
- Interactive SMART sympodiums in every classroom which can integrate PowerPoint, the Internet, a Visual Presenter and the power of personal computing into every presentation
- Five labs including a tune-up/electrical lab, first year and second year apprenticeship labs, , the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) lab, and the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) lab
- Modern tools and equipment including two geometry-based alignment machines and a radial force variation tire balancer
It was SAIT's goal t o provide an atmosphere nearly identical to what students will see in the workforce. Today's service technicians are more skilled than ever before; the vehicles today are more reliant on computers and require sophisticated repair equipment. The equipment in shops and labs meets or exceeds industry standards.
Clayton Carroll Automotive Centre
1301 16 Avenue NW
Calgary, AB, Canada, T2M 0L4