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January 17, 2023
After a fire devastated the heart of the First Nations Technical Institute’s (FNTI’s) aviation campus last February, the program has received overwhelming support from industry partners to enable flight training to continue.
The Second World War-era hangar used by FNTI at Mohawk Airfield, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario, was completely destroyed by fire in February 2022. The blaze also claimed the Indigenous aviation program’s entire fleet of 13 aircraft (five of which were new), as well as its approved maintenance organization (AMO) office and equipment. There were no injuries from the incident, but the structural damage was reportedly tens of millions of dollars.
FNTI offers the only post-secondary Indigenous aviation program of its kind in Canada, and in less than 20 minutes, crucial parts of that program were gone. FNTI was forced to put its aviation program on a temporary pause, and began an almost immediate search for recovery options to ensure minimal interruption for the dozens of students who were affected. Making matters more complex was the fact that the school was expecting to welcome more students in May, and another cohort in September.
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