professional programs:

Course Overview

Associate of Arts in Mission Aviation

Two Year Program (64 Credits)
Combine a passion for adventure with your desire to help the lost, sick and injured by learning to use one of the most effective ministry tools of the modern world.

Courses revolve around:

  • Studying and gaining understanding of Scripture and Christianity in today's world
  • Completing Flight Training Modules to fulfill Transport Canada licencing requirements and ensure students gain experience in different flying environments and aircraft types
  • Developing theoretical aviation knowledge and professionalism to prepare students for a career in aviation

Flight training in a Christian environment as part of our accredited college program, you will gain the knowledge, experience and technical proficiency you need to pursue a career as a Commercial Pilot.

We accept up to 25 students per year. Applicants must have a Transport Canada Medical Certificate (Category 1). 

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Aviation: In Depth

Interested in an exciting, fast-paced career in aviation? We can help you go from little, or no flight experience to a qualified, capable commercial pilot in only two years!

At PATC (Prairie Aviation Training Centre) we are dedicated to training students to be exceptionally skilled pilots, and to take our motto to heart, “To Know Christ and Make Him Known.” Through our Associate of Arts in Mission Aviation program you will learn how to use aviation as a ministry tool; enabling God’s message of hope to reach the most remote corners of the earth.

All over the world mission pilots are flying to unreached and isolated people, who are otherwise inaccessible; using aircraft to bring missionaries, doctors, humanitarian aid, supplies and the gospel to the people who need it the most.

While airplanes are readily available, capable and willing personnel are becoming increasingly scarce. Our Mission Aviation program directly addresses this need and offers specialized flight, cross-cultural and ministry training not utilized in most other flight programs.
You will begin your training with Bible classes, building a firm foundation in God’s word. After that you will begin working through our Transport Canada approved flight training and ground school curriculum.

Upon completion of your degree you will have received a Commercial Pilot License, Multi-Engine and Multi IFR Ratings, Remote Responder First Aid Certificate, and Wilderness Survival Training. We also offer the option of a Flight Instructor Rating after completion of the program.

Expanded Opportunities
The nature of mission aviation often requires flying over contested areas, rugged mountains, or barren desert to land on small unimproved airstrips all over the world. This demands pilots with a unique skill-set and exceptional training. That is why PATC's training is directly geared towards teaching pilots the technical skills they need on the field. 

However, the specialized training offered at PATC also goes above and beyond to equip students for any career in commercial aviation. Graduates of PATC's program have used the training they received to excel in many avenues of life. We have alumni working everywhere from flight schools like Moncton Flight College, to charters and airlines like Integra Air or WestJet.

Whether you are flying small charters through the Canadian Rockies, piloting airliners over North America, or flying for a mission organization through the plains of Africa, PATC's training will help you excel as a skilled, confident and safe commercial pilot.

Prairie College Mission Aviation offers training in:

  • Private Pilot License
  • Commercial Pilot License
  • Night Rating
  • Tailwheel Aircraft
  • Unimproved Airstrips
  • Complex Aircraft
  • Mountain Navigation
  • Multi-day Cross-country Flights 
  • Border Crossing and American Airspace
  • Emergency Maneuvers (Aerobatics)
  • Multi-Engine Rating
  • Multi-Engine Instrument Rating
  • Flight Instructor Rating

The PATC Advantage
Students at PATC have many unique opportunities that are not offered by many other flight schools. Here are just a few… 

  • Cross Countries- Students are given the opportunity to complete “cross-country” flights all over Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Part of their training also includes the chance to do a multi-day cross country to the location of their choosing.
  • Border Crossing- PATC offers students the option of being trained in border crossing, and flying in American airspace. This is often done on a multi-day flight down to a destination such as California or the Grand Canyon.
  • Advanced Aircraft- Every student completes training on complex single engine aircraft (Cessna 182). This prepares students to fly more advanced aircraft in their commercial career.
  • Tail-Wheel Training- Learning to fly tail-wheel aircraft is both challenging and rewarding. Students perfect their “stick and rudder” skills flying our Citabrias.
  • Unimproved Airstrip Experience- All students gain exposure to technically challenging grass airstrips such as Ram Falls in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Mountain Training- As part of PATC’s curriculum every student completes both solo and dual flights beneath the peaks of the Rockies. Not only is the view spectacular, but it is a great exercise in advanced navigation and decision making.
  • Aerobatic Instruction- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable doing spins, hammerheads, “falling leaf”, 60 degree turns, loops, ballistic rolls, and more!
  • Skilled Alumni- Our students have exceptionally high flight test and written exam scores compared to the national average. Many of our graduates have also been blessed with careers working for reputable flight schools, airlines, charters and mission organizations.
  • Experienced Instructors- Not only do we have an average student instructor ratio of 4:1, but our unique relationship with mission organizations has allowed us to provide students with the chance to learn from instructors with actual mission experience.
  • Exceptional Safety Record- PATC is an official Flight Training Unit approved by Transport Canada. Since the school was founded in 1992 there have been no serious safety incidents.
  • Three Hills Airport- The Three Hills airport is a small uncontrolled airport with light air traffic, ideal surrounding terrain, close proximity to larger airports, and dedicated practice areas. This means our students get to fly without delay!

Program Outcomes

  1. Use effective and clear communication in a team environment, whether in a leadership or support role, in order to complete tasks.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and application of operating procedures, aircraft systems and operating environment.
  3. Develop confidence and proficiency in flying skills for the purpose of attaining Transport Canada licensing and rating standards suited for a career in aviation.
  4. Possess mature character attributes that assist in prioritizing, delegating and receiving assistance to manage a task.
  5. Be able to identify aviation threats, assess risks, implement action and evaluate safe outcomes.

Mission Aviation Fellowship


IAMA (International Association of Missionary Aviation)

Our Fleet

  • 3 Cessna 172M 
  • 2 Citabrias (7GCBC/7ECA)
  • 1 Cessna 182RG
  • 1 Seneca 2 Piper (PA-34)
  • 1 Redbird FMX Full-Motion Simulator

Our diverse fleet provides students with valuable experience on more challenging aircraft not available at many other flight schools. This not only helps students gain flying proficiency so they can excel in their careers, but it gives them a distinct advantage as they transition to their first few flying jobs.

Aircraft handling skills are learned in traditional training aircraft such as the Cessna 172 or the more challenging Citabrias. As training progresses, the more powerful and faster retractable-geared Cessna 182 is utilized for long cross countries and commercial flight test preparation. Finally, students progress to the twin-engined Seneca II for multi-engine and instrument training. In addition, skills are learned in the Redbird FMX full-motion simulator (the first in Canada), which is a highly utilized piece of equipment that helps acclimatize students to instrumentation and procedures before even leaving the ground. 

Curriculum and Courses

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible & Theology (18 credits)

  • NT 112 Reading the Gospels & Acts
  • NT 221 Reading Paul’s Letters
  • OT 112 Reading the Torah
  • OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
  • ST 100 The Christian Life
  • TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology

Arts & Sciences (18 credits)

  • HF 111 Thinking & Writing
  • SC 142 Wilderness Survival
  • SC 160 Meteorology
  • SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
  • HF/SS electives (6 credits)

Aviation (32 credits)

  • AV 100 Private Pilot Ground School
  • AV 123 Flight Practicum: Private Pilot License I
  • AV 124 Flight Practicum: Private Pilot License II
  • AV 130 Flight Practicum: Initial Time & Exp. (2 credits)
  • AV 131 Flight Practicum: Type Conversion (2 credits)
  • AV 132 Flight Practicum: Complex (1 credit)
  • AV 133 Flight Practicum: Mountain (1 credit)
  • AV 201 Instrument (IFR) Ground School
  • AV 207 Aircraft Systems Ground School
  • AV 208 Commercial Ground School
  • AV 230 Flight Practicum: Night (1 credit)
  • AV 231 Flight Practicum: CPL Flight Test Prep (1 credit)
  • AV 234 Flight Practicum: Emergency Maneuvers (0.5 credits)
  • AV 235 Flight Practicum: Multi-Engine IFR (2 credits)
  • AV 236 Flight Practicum: Multi Engine Rating (1.5 credits)
  • AV 237 Flight Practicum: Advanced Time & Experience (2 credits)

Additional Offered Aviation Courses

  • AV 312 Flight Instructor Ground School
  • AV 333 Flight Practicum: Instructor

For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.

Intro Flights and Tours

Not sure if flying is for you? Or are you just eager to get your feet off the ground?

In addition to Preview days and campus tours provided by Prairie College Admissions, PATC offers the opportunity to come to Three Hills for a short introductory flight or tour!

Under the care of one of our qualified flight instructors, you will have the chance to take one of our Cessna 172s on a half hour flight around the Three Hills and Red Deer River area. After the flight, you can tour the hangar, meet our current students and staff, and learn more about Prairie’s Aviation program, facilities, and equipment.

While you can come to our hangar anytime for a free tour, a fee of $100CAD is required to help us cover costs for introductory flights. If you are interested in booking a hangar tour or intro flight give us a call at 403-443-2349. We would love to hear from you!

Kalvin Hildebrandt  Director of Prairie Aviation Training Centre

I graduated from Prairie's Mission Aviation Program in the mid- 90's and appreciated so much how it prepared me for ministry. Over the 11 years I spent flying with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Northern Africa I often remembered the great lessons I learned while flying here in Three Hills. It's a privilege now to be back at Prairie helping train the next generation of pilots for ministry. Whether they end up flying in remote parts of the world or here in Canada, it is PATC's desire that students use their flying skills as an opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever they go.                                                                                                                                                                          

Aviation Mid

I can honestly say my time at Prairie College has been the best time of my life. The community of other students, and the team of supportive staff and instructors have allowed me to grow immensely in my personal, professional, academic and spiritual life.

Aviation Mid
Hearing the instructors' personal testimonies and learning from their experiences has added a level of mentorship and instilled a passion for mission aviation into the training program rather than mere professional flight instruction.
Aviation Student

Career Opportunities


  • Mission Aviation
  • Major or Regional Airline Pilot 
  • Agricultural Pilot
  • Cargo Pilot
  • Charter Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
In flight
In flight
The Atrium
The Atrium
Line up
Line up
Parable Place
Parable Place
Flight Simulator
Flight Simulator
Aviation Bottom
At MAF we appreciate the thorough aviation training that Prairie students receive.  In addition, we find that they are spiritually well-grounded and prepared for the demands of missions. 
Gary Toews
Director of Member Care & Operations, Mission Aviation Fellowship Canada
General 2
I look back on my time at Prairie and think: "If only I went there now; the campus is so alive these days." Then I remember that my Prairie experience, like anything in our faith life, really is as good as you allow it to be. For me, it was a safe haven in uncertain times, a source of refinement and my best friend forever factory. It was the place where Jesus met me often through the professors, my coaches, and the people within the town of Three Hills itself. I love where Prairie has come, and where it is going. As a mother, I am confident that anyone who attends is being well equipped to impact my son's world with the love of Jesus! 
Tara Williams
Gary Toews
Tara Williams