Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Full-time Diploma 1015dipts


Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: ONLINE

  • This program will be delivered online for the fall semester.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

Forecasts from the key players in the aviation industry, including Airbus, Boeing, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the BC Aviation Council, is continued growth in all sectors of the aviation industry – both domestically and internationally. In the next ten years, this exciting industry is expected to see a major increase in capacity along with opportunities for skilled entry level airport operations specialists worldwide.

Airport Operations students at the Aerospace Technology Campus receive broad training in foundational skills, aviation operations, aviation security, emergency preparedness and aviation business management.

This focused training prepares the airport operations students to pursue careers in airspace management, wildlife control, runway operations, airport management, firefighting, emergency response, and security. But these are just a few of the many career options available. Please visit the Transport Canada page for more information on the careers available for airport operations specialists in Canada.

The Program

The 16-month BCIT Diploma program in Airport Operations is supported and approved by the aviation industry and provides students with a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program of study. This is the only program of its type in Western Canada. To maintain a current, high-calibre standard, the program has an Program Advisory Committee made up of airport and airline managers, Transport Canada representatives and other aviation industry experts.

BCIT also offers an online Airport Operations Part-time studies Associate Certificate.

Program Entry

COVID-19 Notice to Applicants

Please visit Admission during COVID-19 to learn how BCIT Admissions is supporting applicants. At this time, there are no program-specific changes for applying to this program.

Application processing

Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Entrance requirements

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains. When available intakes are full, qualified applicants are wait-listed.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

International Student Option
International students may want to consider the BCIT International Student Entry Program (ISEP) as an alternate mode of entry to this program.

Recommended for success

  • It is strongly recommended that applicants attend an Airport Operation information session prior to applying to this program.

  • A good understanding of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint is highly recommended.

  • A driver's license valid in BC is an asset but not required.

  • A valid passport or documentation allowing entry into the United States of America is recommended.

  • An orientation session may be scheduled prior to the start date of the program.

Apply to program

To submit your application:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements.
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files.
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
Apply Now

Learn more about how to apply

Scheduled intakes

August each year.

*Scheduled intakes are subject to change


Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Full-Time Studies Tuition & Fees page for full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Term 1: $600; Term 2: $500; Term 3: $200; Term 4: $200

(general estimated cost, subject to change)

Additional costs such as travel expenses for field trips and practicums are the responsibility of the student. Students will be required to purchase a BCIT Airport Operations Golf Shirt (approx. value $30.00)

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


Class hours

0800–1530, Monday through Friday

Program delivery

Courses include lectures, demonstrations, and applied training. Students are assigned industry-based activities to be completed at local, regional, and national airports. Students will also take field trips throughout the program, including a trip to the United States.

The Term 1 practicum is a self-directed field trip to a variety of local airports. Term 2 and 3 practicums are projects, studies, and/or job-shadowing conducted at airports, airport businesses, and airport suppliers.

Field trips and practicum assignments in this program may require travel outside of Canada, and a valid passport, pertinent travel documents and the ability to travel may be required.

Program matrix

Term 1 (16 weeks) Credits
  AIRC 1001 Employability Skills for Aviation Professionals 10.0
  AIRC 1004 Introduction to Airport and Airside Operations 4.0
  AIRC 1005 Air Navigation and Air Traffic Services 3.0
  AIRC 1006 Aviation Meteorology 2.0
  AIRC 1007 Occupational Health and Safety in Aviation 2.0
  AIRC 1008 Introduction to Safety Management Systems 3.0
  AIRC 1009 Introduction to the Airline Industry 4.0
  AVAO 1190 Airport Master Planning and Certification 2.0
  AVAO 1200 Airport Familiarization 2.0
Term 2 (16 weeks) Credits
  AIRC 2126 Aviation Safety and Risk Management 4.0
  AIRC 2270 Airfield Design and Planning 4.0
  AVAO 2200 Basic Aircraft Systems and Services 2.0
  AVAO 2222 Human Factors in Aviation 1.0
  AVAO 2241 Airport Management 1 3.0
  AVAO 2245 Marketing Airports for Revenue 3.0
  AVAO 2255 Airport Environmental Management Systems 3.0
  AVAO 2262 Airport Security Systems 3.0
  AVAO 2295 Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices 2.0
  AVAO 2300 Workplace Practicum 1 6.0
  AVAO 2500 Applied Project 1 1.0
Term 3 (16 weeks) Credits
  AVAO 3305 Airport Drawings 2.0
  AVAO 3310 Quality and Service at Airports 3.0
  AVAO 3322 Airport Emergency Management 1 3.0
  AVAO 3330 Airline Economics 4.0
  AVAO 3370 Airport as a Retail Entity 3.0
  AVAO 3383 Terminal and Groundside Planning 6.0
  AVAO 3400 Workplace Practicum 2 10.0
  AVAO 3500 Applied Project 2 1.0
Term 4 (16 weeks) Credits
  AIRC 4410 Training Skills for Aviation 3.0
  AIRC 4420 Community and Public Relations for Aviation 3.0
  AVAO 4400 Ramp Operations 2.0
  AVAO 4430 Airport Law 2.0
  AVAO 4442 Airport Emergency Management 2 3.0
  AVAO 4450 Airport Maintenance 3.0
  AVAO 4460 Strategic Planning for Airports 3.0
  AVAO 4480 People Resources at Airports 3.0
  AVAO 4485 AutoCAD: Enhanced Applications for Airports 4.0
  AVAO 4500 Final Applied Project 6.0
Total Credits: 128.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

Program length

64 weeks, full-time

The Airport Operations program is delivered over four sixteen-week terms with a short break each term. The program begins in September and ends in December of the following year or early January of the next year.


A 70 percent passing grade is required for each course. Student learning is evaluated at the end of each course.

You must pass all courses each term to successfully complete the term. If you fail or withdraw from one or more courses, you may be required to apply for re-admission. If allowed to continue, you must provide the Registrar's Office with proof that failed courses have been completed before the end of the next term or before you can be issued a credential, whichever condition is specified.

Program location

Aerospace Technology Campus
3800 Cessna Drive
Richmond, BC

Graduating & Jobs

Job Opportunities

Graduates are prepared for a wide range of entry-level positions in aviation businesses, suppliers and airports. This could include positions such as: Ground Transportation Coordinator; Baggage/Gate Scheduler; Airside Operations Project Coordinator; Communications Coordinator; Administrative Assistant; Airfield Operations Specialist; Emergency Response Specialist; Airport Operations Officer; Security Officer; Project Specialist; Pre-screening Security Supervisor; Airport Duty Officer, Noise Information Officer and Terminal Operations (airline).

For more career ideas, check out the Saskatchewan Aviation Council.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Advisory committee

  • John Buckle
  • Cuyler Green
  • Greg Cuneo
  • Raman Bindra
  • Ian Darling
  • Trevor Heryet
  • Jamie Roche
  • Sarah Gallagher
  • Candace McKibbon
  • Blair Lewis
  • Mark Coates

Contact Us

For more information about the Airport Operations program, please contact the Chief Instructor, Cheryl Cahill.

Questions or comments?

Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.

As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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Alumni Kal Manna

Kal is a recipient of the British Columbia Aviation Council (BCAC) Environment Award, and the Airport Manager at the Masset Municipal Airport.

He is presently on an educational leave to complete his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with BCIT.

Kal was one of the youngest airport managers in BC at that time!