Wings Magazine

YYC’s president/CEO Atkinson to retire at end of 2016

Garth Atkinson, president and chief executive officer of the Calgary Airport Authority, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2016, after forty years in the business of airports.

April 6, 2016  By Marketwired

Atkinson joined the airport industry with Transport Canada in 1976 and moved to Calgary from Toronto (Pearson) Airport in 1981. He became deeply involved in the airport transfer process in the 1980s and the establishment of the Calgary Airport Authority as an operating company.

Atkinson was named the Authority’s vice president finance and CFO on transfer in 1992 and was promoted to executive vice president and CFO in 1997, chief operating officer and CFO in 1999 and president and CEO in January 2001.

“The Board of Directors greatly appreciates Garth’s leadership role over the past 24 years in the commercial growth and development of both YYC — Calgary International Airport and YBW — Springbank Airport,” said Mel Belich, Board chair. “The Authority is a seven time Top Employer award recipient and Garth’s legacy includes a strong organization with exceptional staff who will continue to chart our path forward as an airport and economic generator for our city, province and region.”

Atkinson’s leadership role has positioned YYC as a market leader in western Canada with a record 15.5 million passengers and 240,000 aircraft movements in 2015. The Authority’s $4.2 billion infrastructure investment since 1992 includes Canada’s longest runway that opened in June 2014 and the new 2 million f2, 24 gate International Terminal that will open in October 2016. YYC also has 6.3 million f2 of industrial and commercial space on 1,000 acres of leased land that includes 440,000 f2 of Authority owned and operated air cargo facilities and 2 million f2 of dedicated air cargo apron.


“I was lucky to land in Calgary 35 years ago and it’s been a great privilege to participate in such a dynamic local environment and be part of the establishment of Canada’s local airport authority industry,” said Atkinson. “I’ve worked with a lot of great people over the years, and among other things, we’ve had a lot of fun along the way as we built YYC into what it is today.” Garth and his wife Phyllis will retire in Calgary where their four children and twelve grandchildren also reside.

Atkinson will continue to lead the organization through the balance of 2016 and the opening of the new International Terminal in the fall. During this period of time, the Board of Directors will undertake a global search process, which will include both internal and external candidates, for a new president and CEO.


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