When Tyler Cooper learned that his school would be touring the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, he was excited.
The teenager, who had never been on an aircraft, was extremely grateful that the Service’s 52 Division Community Response Unit had organized the field trip.
He was among a dozen students from Contact Alternative School who got the opportunity to board an aircraft during the Porter Airport facility tour on November 25.
“To be sitting in an aircraft for the first time in my life is such a cool experience,” said Cooper, who wants to pursue a career as a chef. “This was also a learning experience for me as I learned that to be on time and punctuality is important in this business or any other business for that matter.”
In addition to spending about 10 minutes in one of the airline’s Canadian-built Bombardier Aerospace Q400 turboprop aircraft, the students toured the baggage handling area and fire hall, where they saw the Striker 1500 specialized aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles.
“This was cool,” Michael Fogarty said of the tour. “I was thinking about getting into the airline business as a customer service representative and what I saw today sort of reinforced that.”
Sergeant Dale Corra and 55 DivisionAuxiliary Sergeant Ted Meighen, the airline’s operations and security manager, coordinated the trip.
“The generation that is coming through our school system will lead us into the future,” said Corra. “As a result, we have to give them every opportunity to look at different paths they could take as part of their education. There might be someone in this group who has a dream of getting into the aeronautics industry. This was an opportunity for them to see, first-hand, in an exclusive trip, what goes on behind the scenes here.
“This is a fantastic alliance of the police, business and educational communities in a three-tiered caring approach, showing young people we care about them and their future. The exposure they got today is a great out-of-classroom experience. Social development of our youth is in our vested interest and that of our unit commander and our Community Response Unit (CRU) manager.”
Superintendent Dave McCormack heads the unit while Staff Sergeant Kevin Suddes is the CRU manager.
Porter Airlines security coordinator Kevin Patterson assisted with the tour.
Three years ago, Sergeant Kevin Hooper and Meighen started a program for high school students to tour the airport facility.