Longview Aviation Capital Corp., which controls De Havilland Aircraft of Canada and Viking Air, announced that David Curtis will be retiring as Executive Chairman, effective August 1, 2021.
Curtis began his tenure with Viking in 1983, becoming President and CEO in 1991. Under his leadership, Viking grew to become a prominent global specialty aircraft company and successfully re-launched an out-of-production aircraft, bringing the Series 400 Twin Otter back into production in 2010. He was also instrumental in spearheading the acquisitions of the CL-215/415 waterbomber program in 2016, and the Dash 8 aircraft program in 2019, bringing together the entire original product line of the De Havilland aircraft company.
Today the combined enterprise operates manufacturing and aircraft service support in locations across Canada, and in addition to the De Havilland Type Certificates also holds the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft.
“It has been a true privilege to work alongside the women and men who have made, and continue to make, our portfolio what it is,” said Curtis in a release. “The time is right to turn over leadership to a new generation of visionaries. This organization has all the qualities necessary to lead the post-pandemic industry, including talented people, great assets, and a committed owner with a long-term perspective. With the industry in the midst of a transition, it is an excellent time for renewed leadership with a focus on charting the future for these great aircraft programs.”
As it pursues the opportunities of a transitioning industry, David Riggs will lead the business having been appointed Chief Transformation Officer of the entire aviation enterprise including De Havilland and Viking. Riggs has served as Chief Transformation Officer of De Havilland since June 2020 and has a long track record in the aviation industry, including consulting to Viking on the restart of production of the Twin Otter. Don Boitson, currently Chief Operating Officer responsible for Western Canada operations, will take on that role for the entire enterprise including the Viking and De Havilland operations, reporting to Riggs. Todd Young, who has more than 30 years of experience with De Havilland aircraft, will provide additional support as an advisor to the management team.
An international search is underway for a new Chief Executive Officer for the combined aviation enterprise. The Board will seek a proven leader to focus on growing the aircraft businesses, founded on a commitment to customer service and a passion for strengthening De Havilland as an anchor of the Canadian aerospace industry.