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It’s a wrap: CBAA conference a hit in Calgary

The Canadian Business Aviation Association’s (CBAA) annual convention and trade show wrapped up in Calgary yesterday afternoon and by all accounts it sent the 700-plus attendees home happy and feeling positive about the direction of business aviation in Canada.


July 8, 2016
By Matt Nicholls

This year’s event held jointly at the Hyatt Regency Calgary and Million Air Calgary FBO, attracted hundreds of business aviation operators, aircraft manufacturers and vendors. A solid static display featured some 15 business aircraft from a number of OEMs, including Beechcraft, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault Falcon, Pilatus, Embraer Executive Aircraft, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Skyservice-HondaJet and more. Some 65 companies were on hand to promote their aviation services.

Once again, the show’s educational content was solid. CBAA president/CEO Rudy Toering and Merlin Preuss, VP government and regulatory affairs, versed members on the association’s advocacy initiatives throughout the event, while Day Two featured some eye-opening sessions, including John Cox’s “Smoking Hot – The Rising Risk in Aviation centering on the threat of lithium battery fires; Peter Agur’s “How Social Media Affects Your ERP and Brand”; and “Business Aviation Commitment to Climate Change,” presented by Bombardier’s Jean-Christophe Gallagher.

Yesterday’s educational elements were also strong, as NAV CANADA’s executive vice-president, service and delivery Rudy Keller gave a thorough presentation highlighting the operation’s current status on changes affecting business aviation. Transport Canada’s Denis Guindon, director general of Civil Aviation – Aviation Safety Oversight and Transformation, followed, touching on key issues affecting the sector. There will be much more to come on regulatory issues and how they relate business aviation in future issues of Wings.

The educational component wrapped up with a detailed analysis of the CBAA’s new economic impact study by InterVISTA’s Mike Tretheway. The study is one of the key initiatives of the association, as it works to attach an economic value proposition of the sector. It’s an essential tool to help educate politicians and others who have little understanding of the importance – and influence – of business aviation in this country.

Several CBAA board members also graciously dedicated an hour and a half to Wings to take part in a lively roundtable to discuss key issues affecting Canadian BizAv operators and suppliers. The full report will be revealed in the September/October issue of the magazine.

As Toering noted at the event – and reinforced on a number of occasions – business aviation is an integral part of Canada’s aviation and aerospace sector, as business aviation operations and manufacturing contributes $10.9 billion in economic outputs and provides 43,170 jobs across Canada.

The Calgary convention most definitely helped build momentum and celebrate the importance of this key Canadian economic driver.