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Aviation Conference GTA

Toronto Pearson International Airport, together with its aviation sector ecosystem, plays a vital role in the economic success of the Toronto region, Ontario and Canada. As the Toronto region grows and businesses expand into global markets, Canada's largest airport is poised to become an even larger global transportation hub—serving over 50 million passengers a year by 2025.

Join senior aviation sector leaders as they share insights and knowledge on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector as it grows. 

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Keynote Speaker – Richard Florida

Elevate, Grow, Connect: The Role of Connected Cities in the Global Economy.

Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management; Global Research Professor, NYU, and the co-founder and editor-at-large, The Atlantic's CityLab; and author of the best-selling, The Rise of the Creative Class.

Panel: Regional Connectivity & the Hub

The Toronto region is blessed with valuable transportation infrastructure assets that serve as economic gateways, and when interconnected, could better support the region’s international hub airport.

Benjamin Smith
Passenger Airlines
Air Canada
Ben Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, Air Canada has overall responsibility for the financial performance of Air Canada and its subsidiaries, in addition to oversight of the airline’s commercial activities including Revenue Management, Marketing, Sales, Network Planning, Cargo, Alliances and the Air Canada Leisure Group. 

Howard Eng
President & CEO
Howard Eng, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (“GTAA”) which manages and operates Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport. As head of the GTAA, Mr. Eng focuses on the strategic direction of Toronto Pearson, working to build North America’s premier gateway airport.

In his previous role as Executive Director of Airport Operations of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, he was integral in moving Hong Kong onto the world’s stage as a global hub and one that enjoys consistently high ratings from guests, including a top rating from Skytrax.

Andrew McAlpine
Andrew McAlpine, an architect and leader of Arup’s Canadian business operations, has over 30 years of experience with 20 of those with Arup working in aviation planning, transportation consulting, and transportation infrastructure design.

In 1995, he joined NAPA in Toronto, an aviation planning firm tasked with developing a new master plan for Toronto Pearson International Airport, which culminated in the creation of a new Terminal 1.

Andrew and his team have helped plan new airport terminals at Ottawa, Winnipeg, Washington Dulles, and Terminal 5 at JFK and to advise on the potential for new airports in the UK. More recently Arup has been instrumental in planning the development of airports in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and is currently busy in Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, China, Canada and the US, as well as continuing to help plan the next steps at Toronto Pearson.

Notable projects include two of the stations on the Spadina line subway extension, the redevelopment of Queens Quay at Toronto’s waterfront, a variety of transportation advisory and planning services for Metrolinx and the City of Toronto, considerable involvement with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project, the replacement of the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, and design of three of the primary venues for the Pan Am Games.

Leslie Woo
Chief Planning Officer,
Planning and Policy
Leslie Woo, Metrolinx’s Chief Planning Officer, is responsible for creating and prioritizing the delivery of The Big Move, a comprehensive 25-year transportation plan for Canada’s largest urban region. This plan has since resulted in over $16 billion in public transit investments that are transforming one of the world’s most liveable city regions, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. 

Leslie oversees long range planning, project development and integrated transit service planning. Leslie’s expertise in addressing complex urban challenges is evidenced in her leadership role, from discovery to delivery, of the provincially legislated Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan (2006). 

Robert Palter

McKinsey & Co.
Robert Palter is a Director in the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company. He is the Global Leader of McKinsey's Infrastructure Practice. The focus of his client work is helping infrastructure developers, owners and operators both public sector and private maximize the value of their assets.

Panel: Innovating the Passenger Experience

The connected passenger experience is thought of as the ideal travel experience and innovations, such as new technologies, are enhancing the passenger experience from door to destination.

Kathy Haley
UP Express, Metrolinx
Kathy M. Haley is Metrolinx's inaugural President of the Union Pearson Express. With a proven track record in customer service and operational excellence, Kathy is charged with delivering the highly anticipated express rail service to link downtown Toronto with Canada's largest and busiest international airport, Toronto Pearson. 

Scott Collier
VP, Customer &
Terminal Services
Scott Collier, VP, Customer & Terminal Services, joined GTAA,  joined the GTAA in February of 2014. Mr. Collier was most recently the Chief Operating Officer at PepsiCo Beverages Canada based in Toronto. During his tenure with PepsiCo Beverages, Mr. Collier held a number of senior sales and operating positions across Canada and internationally. His assignments included Vice-President Retail Sales in Columbia, Maryland, and Vice-President and General Manager in México City.

Derek Vanstone
VP, Corporate Strategy,
Industry & Government Affairs
Air Canada
Derek Vanstone, Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Industry and Government Affairs, is responsible for helping shape Air Canada’s corporate strategy and direction, as well as having oversight for the airline’s federal, provincial, municipal and community relations, as well as industry affairs.

Prior to joining Air Canada, Derek held senior positions in government including Deputy Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chief of Staff to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Derek is the Chair of Board of the National Airline Council of Canada and serves on the Board of Directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Canadian American Business Advisory Council. 

David Powell
General Manager of
WestJet Airlines
David Powell, General Manager of Operations for WestJet Airlines, is a ten-year airline industry veteran. Currently, he leads the Airports Team who provides service directly to thousands of WestJet Guests at the airline’s largest station – YYZ.

Previous to WestJet, David led the casino gaming operations for 15 years in both Manitoba and Ontario, where he held the position of General Manager of Slots at Woodbine Racetrack. Prior to his role as General Manager of Operations, David worked as part of the In-flight Operations Team at WestJet, where he led the organization as Director.

In addition to leading the Airports Team, David is the local representative working alongside the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) and various agency stakeholders to ensure that superior guest experience and industry standards are upheld across all touch points.

Zak Cutler

Associate Partner
McKinsey & Co.
Zak Cutler, Associate Principal in the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company, is a core member of the Infrastructure and Public Sector practices. He works with governments and infrastructure assets on a variety of topics, including strategy, finance, performance improvements, stakeholder management and operations. He also works with North American airports on strategy across a number of topics.

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