Wings Magazine

Scenes from the 2024 CIA Expo at Porter Airlines’ new Ottawa hangar

May 27, 2024  By Wings Staff

The Careers in Aviation Expo was held in one of Porter Airlines' new CYOW hangars.

More than 580 people, including over 400 attendees, on May 4 gathered at the annual Careers in Aviation Expo, held this year at Porter Airlines’ new aircraft maintenance hangar at Ottawa International Airport. The new hangar is part of a $125 million investment by Porter and its partners at Ottawa International, CYOW, which is expected to create around 200 full-time jobs.

The Careers in Aviation Expo (CIA Expo) occupied one of the two new aircraft hangars at CYOW that are approximately 150,000 square feet in combined size, supporting the maintenance of Porter’s growing Embraer E195-E2 fleet and existing De Havilland Dash 8-400s. The airline has up to 100 E195-E2s on order, with 33 currently in service. The Dash 8-400 fleet totals 29 aircraft. The two hangars were officially opened after the CIA Expo in mid-May. (See the full CIA Expo gallery below with photos provided by Eldrin Charan, Anastasia Ivaniv, Mena Miu and Jon Robinson.)

Porter served as the Premier Sponsor of the CIA Expo, which typically is held in infrastructure vital to Canadian aviation to better showcase the scope of the industry to aspiring aviators and young professionals. Platinum Sponsors of the event included Calgary Economic Development and Canadian North, in addition to sponsorship from Diamond Aircraft, Centennial College and Wasaya Airways. Fifty exhibitors were on hand to share their insights with attendees. Visit to information about the upcoming event taking place in Edmonton, AB, on October 29, 2024.

Lawrence Hughes, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Porter Airlines, kicked off the day at CYOW with a main-stage presentation describing the growth of the airline and how it is reshaping the commercial aviation landscape in Canada. Senior Experimental Test Pilot Billie Flynn, and one of the world’s most revered fighter pilots, then provided a keynote presentation called Mach X, The New Generation of Fighter Pilots. He primarily focused on the development of the F-35 program and what it means for aspiring aviators with Canada now committed to hold a fleet of at least 88 of these fifth-generation fighter jets.


The afternoon of CIA Expo began with a main-stage presentation from Calgary Economic Development, with three key players describing the growth of aviation in the region, including Mahdis Bisheban, University of Calgary; Robb Hart, Manager, Talent Acquisition (Tech Aviation), WestJet; and Leslie Shier, Calgary Economic Development. Louis Anderson, President of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Association of Ontario, then capped the day off with an inspiring presentation about the opportunities for AMEs.

Attendees on the day were also treated to a static display of a brand new Embraer E195-E2 that Porter had just flown in from Brazil, where the aircraft is made, as well as an RCAF CH-146 Griffon tactical-transport helicopter, and a Robinson R44 Helicopter and Piper Seminole brought in by Select Aviation College out of Gatineau, QC.


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