Full-time Diploma 1015dipts


Until 1992, airports in Canada were operated and maintained by Transport Canada. Since then, airport operations have fallen within the domain of advisory boards comprised of individuals from municipalities and private enterprise. This change has resulted in a need for airports to have professionally-trained personnel.

As well, the Asia Pacific airports are moving into a growth phase, with regional governments realizing the increasing need to both build world class airports and upgrade the existing ones to international standards. Governments in the region are looking to fast track privatization. These airports by themselves promise opportunities as none of them meet the latest international quality standards. The award-winning BCIT diploma program in Airport Operations is designed to meet the demands of today's unique and dynamic global airport operation environment. In the next 10 years, this exciting industry is expected to see a major increase in capacity and many opportunities for skilled entry level airport operation personnel world-wide are becoming available.

Explore career ideas from the Saskatchewan Aviation Council.

The Program

The 16-month BCIT diploma program in Airport Operations, supported and approved by the aviation industry, 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 industry Advisory Committee made up of airport and airline managers, airport field staff from Canada's local regional and national airports, and Transport Canada representatives.

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

Program Entry

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

  • Strongly recommended that applicants attend an Airport Operation information session prior to applying for this program.

  • A good understanding of MS Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) computer software is highly recommended.

  • Driver's license valid in BC (is an asset but not required)

  • A valid passport and/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

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

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

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.


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 my.bcit.ca. 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 Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for information on 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 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 2.0
  AVAO 4460 Strategic Planning for Airports 3.0
  AVAO 4480 People Resources at Airports 3.0
  AVAO 4485 AutoCAD: Enhanced Applications for Airports 3.0
  AVAO 4500 Final Applied Project 4.0
Total Credits: 124.0

Note: Course work includes lectures, demonstrations, and applied training. Students will be assigned industry-based activities that will be completed at local and/or regional and national airports. As well, students will be taking field trips throughout the program, one of which is to the United States. A valid passport and/or pertinent travel documents are required.

The practicum in Term 1 is a self-directed field trip to a variety of local airports. Practicums at the end of Term 2 and 3 are projects, studies and/or job-shadowing conducted at local, regional and international airports, airport businesses and airport suppliers. Since some practicum assignments may be outside of Canada, a valid passport, pertinent travel documents and the ability to travel to practicum locations may be required.

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 program is delivered in four terms of 16 weeks each, beginning in September and ending in December the following year, with a short break during each term.


Student learning is evaluated at the end of each course. To complete the program, a 70% pass mark is required for each course.

Note: Students must achieve a pass standing in all courses in each term to successfully complete the term. Students who fail or withdraw from one or more courses in a term may be prohibited from continuing in the program, and may be required to apply for re-admission. When students are permitted to continue with the program, it is their responsibility to present evidence of successful completion of the failed course(s) to the Registrar's office prior to the end of the next term or before the appropriate credential is awarded, whichever condition is specified at the time or subsequent to the failure.

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 2013-2015 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2012-2014 graduates and for Degree 2010-2012 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

  • Ian Darling
  • John Buckle (Chair)
  • Raman Bindra
  • Ray Poirier
  • Cuyler Green
  • Trevor Heryet
  • Greg Cuneo
  • Mark Coates
  • Vince MacDonald
  • Sarah Gallagher
  • Jamie Roche

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:

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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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.

How To Apply


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Information Sessions

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Lauren Lee, Recipient of Outstanding Student Leadership Award

While at BCIT, Lauren won numerous awards and scholarships, including:
  • the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Trades from BCIT
  • Dean’s Award, from the BCIT School of Transportation