BEIJING, China (CNB) – An agreement to train Chinese pilots to commercial licence standards has been signed by the Moncton Flight College and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud participated in the signing ceremony in Beijing, China. The contract, valued at $7 million, is for training services to be provided by the college in 2012.

"This signing ceremony between the Moncton Flight College and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics is another symbol of our strong working relationship with China," said Robichaud. "This contract marks the fourth agreement between a leading New Brunswick flight college and a world-renowned Chinese university, which clearly demonstrates New Brunswick companies can do business with China."

Robichaud is leading six New Brunswick companies, including the Moncton Flight College, on a trade mission to Beijing and Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province. The trade mission ends Nov. 6.

"We are pleased to have signed a new contract with Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics,” said Mike Tilley, chief executive officer, Moncton Flight College. “The Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics is an important client for the Moncton Flight College. We look forward to welcoming the 30th class of students from the university to New Brunswick this January.  

“The Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics has been a tremendous supporter of the college during the last five years. New Brunswick is well-suited for flight training for a variety of reasons, including our wide open spaces, high-quality airport infrastructure, four seasons and talented training team."

The college received approval to train Chinese commercial pilots from the Civil Aviation Authority of China in 2006. The college has the largest quota among the 27 foreign flight schools approved by the Chinese government.  

Since 2006, more than 700 Chinese students have graduated from the college’s campuses in Moncton and Fredericton. The college has provided training for numerous Chinese airlines, including Air China, Air China Cargo, China Eastern, Shenzhen Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and SF Airlines.

"This ceremony marks the second signing during our successful mission to China," said Robichaud. "The results we are seeing from this mission demonstrate New Brunswick's world-class industries can conduct business with China."