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This is Anthony Norejko’s fourth year as president and CEO of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) — but thanks to the pandemic, he’s just coming up on his second annual convention in the leadership role.
Following two years of virtual events, the CBAA is now putting the finishing touches on its 2022 Convention & Exhibition at Pearson airport in Toronto.
More than 500 business aviation stakeholders — including operators, OEMs, and product and service suppliers — will gather at Skyservice Business Aviation’s new south terminal facility from June 14 to 16.
Norejko said the reunion is long overdue, and he is excited to reconnect with the Canadian business aviation community face-to-face.
“I think this a great opportunity,” he told Skies. “We’ve created tools to collaborate online. But here, we can connect one-on-one with folks who have the opportunity to shape the programs that will affect our future.”
He said the convention agenda will focus on key themes such as leadership, environmental stewardship, and the labor market. In addition to topical information sessions, the event will also showcase 16 aircraft on static display. Among those in attendance will be some notable first-time CBAA appearances, including the Pilatus PC-24 and Textron Aviation’s new Cessna SkyCourier.
Attendees will get into the swing of things on June 14 at CBAA’s annual Hope Air Golf Tournament, taking place at the Woodbine Golf Club. Proceeds from the event will support Hope Air’s mission of ensuring that every Canadian has access to lifesaving specialized health care, despite geographic or financial barriers. CBAA has been supporting Hope Air for 25 years, raising more than $400,000 for the charity to date.
June 15 will kick off with a presentation by author and keynote speaker Christopher M. Broyhill, who will share his research on how business aviation leadership traits impact personnel retention. Then, it’s on to the 2022 business aviation outlook from regular CBAA presenter Rolland Vincent, creator and director of aviation market research firm JETNET iQ.
Dr. Suzanne Kearns, associate professor of geography and aviation at the University of Waterloo, will lead James Elian, president of AirSprint, and Celina Estrella, senior manager at InterVISTAS Consulting Inc., in a discussion focused on best practices for attracting and retaining a sustainable workforce.
Following a lunch hosted by retired U.S. Air Force Major Brian Shul, a Vietnam-era aviator and SR-71 Blackbird pilot, additional sessions will include a plain-language primer on upcoming avionics regulatory requirements and a discussion on tax and legal considerations for aircraft owners. Attendees will also learn how to establish a sustainable operation, including carbon offsets, sustainable aviation fuel, Carbon Zero 2050, and more. Notably, CBAA’s 2022 Convention & Exhibition will be the association’s first carbon-neutral event.
Experts will dive into the world of aviation cyber security in another session, while Norejko himself will speak with Greg McDougall of Harbour Air about the world’s first commercial electric flight and progress made to date.
On June 16, attendees will be up early to connect over breakfast with representatives from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Transport Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This will be an excellent chance to hear about plans that impact Canadian business aviation operations. Attendees are invited to bring their questions for a Q&A session.
The rest of the day will be dedicated to the tradeshow exhibition and static display. As many as 70 exhibitors will showcase the latest business aviation products and services in the hangar. While the outdoor static display is officially sold out, Norejko said the team is working on obtaining more space — contact CBAA for details on exhibitor or static display opportunities.
CBAA 2022 will also mark a change in leadership for the association, as AirSprint’s James Elian concludes his term as chair. He will be succeeded by Ehsan Monfared of YYZlaw.
A Meeting that Matters
Norejko said that overall, Canadian business aviation is “in an incredibly good spot.”
Persistent delays with commercial travel — including slow-moving security lines, transborder pre-clearance requirements, and deplaning delays — all serve to underline what he called the “time-cost benefit of business aviation.”
He said one of CBAA’s biggest priorities is restoring the CBSA telephone reporting center.
“Getting that back up is our number 1 concern,” said Norejko. “You can go down to the U.S., but coming back, we’ve had operators on the phone for two hours, waiting on hold with CBSA for clearance.”
CBAA 2022 promises an agenda packed with useful, timely information for the country’s business aviation operators. Norejko said it’s an event that’s not to be missed.
“We always say that for the meetings that matter, business aviation will take you there. Well, this is our meeting that matters.”