1978

The Big Takeoff


Grondair was founded in 1978 by Clermont Grondin, who had already owned Grondin Transport since 1952. Grondair is a private, family-owned business located in St-Frédéric de Beauce.

The Grondin family began turning their dream into reality in 1975! Everyone, young and old alike, was working hard to transform the farmland adjacent to the family home into a landing strip.

Gaston, the eldest of the Grondin sons, a soldier and a private pilot, landed his Grumman TR2 on the strip for the first time in 1976. In October 1978, the runway was certified by Transport Canada and Grondair obtained its licence and operating certificate. The “Flight School” project was launched!

1980

The Great Start


By 1980, Gaston had become a flight instructor and secretary-treasurer, and he ran the company with his father. Later he became an airline pilot, a class 1 flight instructor, an aircraft mechanic and finally the director of operations in 1985. Bruno, Gaston’s younger brother, obtained his pilot licences between 1978 and 1982, and having chosen a career in aircraft maintenance, he took charge of the maintenance department of the company.

At that time, the flight school was busy and welcomed students from all over the beautiful Chaudière-Appalaches region.

During the same period, Grondair built its first housing units to accommodate its students. Grondair owned up to 24 aircraft back then.

Despite a very successful start and an iron will, the recession of 1981 did not spare Grondair, which had to let go of several of its aircraft. In order to survive, the company diversified its activities. Grondair already owned an Aztec and in 1984, it acquired an Islander, which can land on short runways. The company was then able to spread its wings on the Nordic charter market as well.

Toward the end of the 1980s, Grondair welcomed its first international students in Saint-Frédéric: 25 Europeans, mostly from France.

1992

Air Show


To share its passion for aviation with everyone, Grondair organized several air shows. The 1992 edition, of which Snowbirds were the main attraction, drew a crowd of 10,000 spectators, a first in the region!

2000

The 2000s


By the dawn of the new millennium, Grondair had already trained more than 1,100 pilots. Over the years, the founder and two of his sons, Gaston Grondin, Director of Operations, and Bruno Grondin, Director of Maintenance, made sure that their customers’ needs and the requirements of the market were always met. Thus, Grondair invested in the maintenance and acquisition of new aircraft. The airport runway and apron were improved several times to meet increasing demand and provide professional quality service. Since the early 2000s, several hangars have been built, the administrative building has been enlarged and renovated, and new classrooms have been set up to accommodate a growing number of students.

2015

Grondair passes into the hands of a new team


When Enrico Lessard, a cousin of the Grondins, found out that after several years of operation, the Grondins were willing to pass on the company to someone who would ensure its continuity, he, his brothers, Carl and Rocky Lessard, and Martin Nadeau, a childhood friend, came together to purchase and give new impetus to the business.

In April 2015, the group of four associates officially took possession of Grondair.

Enrico Lessard, Président

Enrico Lessard

President

As a young air cadet, Enrico, President of Grondair Aviation, dreamed of having an aircraft of his own. And his dream has come true since he and his partners now own 41 planes! After having worked as a pilot and a business manager for a long time, he now dedicates his time to his passion: Aviation!

Today


Accredited by Transport Canada, Grondair now operates a charter service, using fourteen of its aircraft: four Beechcraft King Air 100 planes, two Piper Navajo aircraft, and eight Cessna 310 planes. They can be chartered to carry goods or passengers from any airport in Canada to any destination in North America. Grondair has accreditation to transport ministers and officials from both levels of government on a regular basis. The company continues to modernize as part of meeting business travel requirements and providing courteous, safe, and timely service. This is why Grondair has been awarded numerous prizes in the business and tourism sector.

The flight school welcomes many new Canadian and international students each year, as well as a cohort of several Air Cadets.

More than 7 Cessna 152, 4 Cessna 172, 13 Cessna 182, and 8 Cessna 310 aircraft complete our fleet and are available to our flight instructors who train on average 50 private pilots, 15 professional pilots and 6 flight instructors each year. More than 20 of these students come from all over the world!

Grondair employs the majority of its graduates and thus ensures an efficient and professional aerial work service for a diversified customer base. Each year, the company is involved in forest monitoring for SOPFEU and SOPFIM. Aircraft sales, warehousing, and rental and maintenance services are also available.