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Message from ATAC’S chairman of the board

The news of the departure of the four large air carriers from the Air Transport Association of Canada membership earlier this week has, understandably, left many of you with questions and concerns as to the reasons behind this turn of events and ATAC’s intentions going forward.


May 1, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

April 2008 – The news of the departure of
the four large air carriers from the Air Transport Association of
Canada membership earlier this week has, understandably, left many of
you with questions and concerns as to the reasons behind this turn of
events and ATAC’s intentions going forward.  As Chairman of ATAC’s
Board of Directors, allow me to address some of these issues directly:

1.     
ATAC is ‘open for business’ and will continue to be going forward. 
While the departing members represent a significant portion of our
membership revenue, ATAC benefits from prudent financial planning and a
diversified revenue stream, which allows us to continue operations as
we develop a new business plan to better respond to existing members’
concerns while identifying administrative savings.

2.      ATAC is absolutely and
contractually committed to its obligations to its vendors, exhibitors,
sponsors and delegates for the upcoming Annual Spring Reception in
Ottawa on May 13 and the AGM & Trade Show in Calgary, November
10-12.  

While I can provide clarity and assurances as to our intentions and
prospects going forward, it’s neither as simple nor practical an
exercise to attempt to provide clarity as to the intentions or
circumstances that led to the resignations themselves.

Certainly, as with all broad-based trade associations, reconciling
differing priorities and perspectives amongst the membership base at
ATAC has – at times – been a challenging exercise.  In this case, it
appears that certain large jet carriers became convinced that there was
little value in working cooperatively with the rest of the industry to
pursue a coordinated advocacy agenda and that they intend to pursue a
new collective effort to narrowly focus their resources on a few
targeted advocacy areas to maximize the value of their government
relations investments.

While we regret – and disagree with – their decision, the rising
cost of oil and new wave of industry consolidation only serves to
reinforce our understanding for these sometimes difficult, if
short-sighted, financial decisions.  ATAC wishes the departing members
well in their endeavors and looks forward to working with them again in
the future for the good of the entire commercial aviation sector in
Canada.

Finally, let me thank the many of you that have called, emailed or
otherwise sent expressions of support to ATAC.  The strong support from
our remaining members makes it clear that much remains to be done for
the industry and that you are looking to ATAC and its people to
deliver.    As Chairman, I share that perspective and can confirm that
the rest of the Board feels the same way.

ATAC intends to continue in its mission to serve the commercial
aviation sector in Canada going into the future.  We will be in touch
with our members, directly, over the coming days and weeks to identify
your priorities and goals for the association going forward.

As the famous saying goes, ‘adversity brings opportunity’ and I –
for one – am excited about fostering a new era of focus and commitment
from ATAC to the core, practical, issues that fully and fairly reflect
your everyday business priorities.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Mike Doiron
Chairman of the Board
Air Transport Association of Canada