For people wanting to know what it is like to fly a fighter jet or commercial airline, there is an opportunity to do that in Calgary, without ever lifting off the ground.

An immigrant from Syria opened up Altitude Flight Simulation in the city’s northeast, a first of its kind in the province.

Tammam Altajar worked in the oil and gas sector and came to Calgary a few years ago looking for a job. Unfortunately, it was the recession and he had a tough time landing any oil and gas work.

Having a passion for flying, Altajar came up with Altitude Flight Simulation. He took a one-year course to learn how to start a business.

“At that point I felt like it was a good time to start a business since I’m starting a new life in a new country,” said Altajar.

Altajar worked on his idea with architect Saleh Allbwani, who is also a Syrian immigrant.

“I was so excited about building a new business. It’s such a new idea here. And to be number one in Alberta, this is a huge advantage,” said Allbwani.

Saima Jamal, co-founder of the Calgary Immigrant Support Society, says success stories for new immigrants gives hope to younger immigrants and refugees.

“It’s giving them hope to become a pilot, it’s giving them hope to start up a business that nobody else has in Alberta,” she said.