Coulson Aviation Becomes First Aviation Company in Canada to Receive Transport Canada ATO Approval

Port Alberni, British Columbia – January 24, 2024: Coulson Aviation, a world leader in aerial firefighting, has received Transport Canada Approved Training Organization (ATO)  approval, making it the first aviation company approved to provide training in aircraft structures and one of 20 ATOs across Canada.

Coulson’s ATO allows the company to train students toward their Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – Structures (AME-S) license at no cost to the student. Coulson hires team members who demonstrate a passion for the aviation industry and positive attitudes to join its workforce. Once students have demonstrated excellent potential in the industry, students are invited to join the ATO program. There is no required tuition to attend the course.  The student remains on the Coulson payroll while attending school and can further supplement their income by working for the company outside of schooling hours. Coulson guarantees a full-time position to every student who completes the school portion, offering a path through apprenticeship to a full AME-S license.

“This approval is a huge milestone and tremendously valuable to Coulson, allowing us to hire, train, and educate hand-selected team members,” says Coulson Aviation President and COO Britton Coulson. “By going through their schooling and apprenticeship here at Coulson, working alongside licensed team members on actual aircraft and projects, they become much more well-rounded technicians. As Coulson continues to grow, we see this re-investment in future technicians as a path to sustainably maintain a well-trained and dedicated workforce.”

“Typical ATO schools require students to pay to attend training,” Coulson says. “We pay our students to attend our school, just like any other employee. In return, we expect an ultra-high standard of attendance, performance, and attitude. That is why they are all hand-picked to join this elite program.”

The AME-S course covers sheet metal, composite, wood, and fabric structures. Graduates of the Coulson AME-S program can also expand their license into the FAA by taking a written exam.

About Coulson Aviation

Throughout the company’s 60+ years, the mission has remained the same: to protect the world from forest fires. Our organizational capabilities allow our team to provide simultaneous aerial support across numerous continents. As a leading supplier to county, state, and federal governments worldwide, Coulson has focused its next-generation multi-mission fleet on sustainable, in-production aircraft. Working in partnership with OEMs and leveraging the latest technology allows Coulson to provide superior all-hazard response aircraft. Learn more about us by

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
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