GANDER, NL - There's significant growth taking place in Gander's aviation and aerospace industry that most people are not aware of.
The EVAS Group of companies is expanding operations at its EVAS Maintenance Division, Gander Flight Training and EVAS Air, a Gander based Air Canada Partner.
Patrick White, president and CEO, says the company's operations are a growing force, especially in the areas of maintenance repair, overhaul and training.
“We have two aircraft hangars working at capacity repairing and refurbishing aircrafts in Gander,” he said. “This division of our EVAS Group of Companies just completed its 15th aircraft in Gander, which includes work coming as far away as Calgary for Air Georgian.” The company is also in talks with other airlines for more work, including one airline from Africa.
According to White, in the past, just about all this work had to be completed in Quebec and Ontario, but now it is being done in Gander.
“This recent activity has meant increased employment, and the company continues to hire” says White. “EVAS Air is also looking to employ mature adults interested in a permanent career who we will train in Gander.”
He points out this expansion has meant increased employment along with increased revenues for the Gander-based aerospace, airline and flight training companies.
“This growth is in line with Gander's designation as a Centre of Excellence for the aerospace industry as chosen by the provincial government a few years ago,” says White.
White also credits the aviation program at Gander’s College of the North Atlantic with being a major asset in finding employees. He believes the college can play an even bigger role in the future as activity increases.
“Gander Flight Training just completed its largest air cadet training program in 25 years flying over 1,100 hours in July alone. Not only is this good for GFT but it’s great news for Gander International Airport, the economy of Gander and NAV Canada, especially the tower,” notes White.
Over the years, Gander Flight Training has seen 279 air cadets successfully receive their pilots license. It has been noted by the company that many of these former cadets are still in the aviation industry and fly with various airlines all over North America.
Along with its contract in Thailand, and other international students, air cadets from across Atlantic Canada and Canadian students, Gander Flight Training has earned a reputation for world class flight training at a world class airport. Domestic traffic at Gander International Airport is up three per cent in July and August. White emphasizes the EVAS Group of Companies are well positioned for future growth.
Gander Flight Training has about 20 employees for its training program full-time and there are also part-time employees as well.
GFT and its sister company EVAS Air employ about 225 workers in NL and in Maritimes. Most of the employees are in Gander.