Greater Toronto Airports Authority appoints Karen Mazurkewich as Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Communications

TORONTO, May 25, 2022 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has announced the appointment of Karen Mazurkewich as Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Communications, effective June 6, 2022. In her new role, Karen will champion the GTAA’s stakeholder relations and corporate communications efforts, with a focus on transforming the way the GTAA communicates to its customers, community, partners and employees. She will also lead the GTAA’s media relations, issues management and government relations functions.

Most recently, Karen served as Vice President, Strategic Communications at MaRS, North America’s largest urban innovation hub, where she led three high-impact teams: MaRS Corporate Communications and Marketing, Content Studio @ MaRS, and the Innovation Economy Council. Her work was instrumental in building MaRS’ position as a leading voice in the tech ecosystem by maintaining a 50% share-of-voice among its hub competitors, while also raising the profile of individual startups.

“The GTAA has great ambitions for Toronto Pearson, and it takes exceptional people to energize high-performing teams to deliver as Pearson continues to be a strong engine of Canada’s economy post-pandemic,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “I’m confident that Karen will be a tremendous addition to GTAA as we forge the airport of the future and  drive innovation, thought leadership, partnerships and expanded engagement with government, community and business.”

Karen holds a Master’s Diploma in Communications from Concordia University and a BSc. (Hons) from Queen’s University. Prior to joining MaRS, Karen worked extensively in media, both in Canada and abroad, founding her own consulting firm targeting mobile apps and interactive platforms companies; serving as a Wall Street Journal staff international correspondent; working as a columnist/feature writer for the Financial Post and an on-camera commentator for CNBC Asia; and authoring two books. Outside of work, she is an avid collector of art and antiques, an equestrian enthusiast and a mother to two wonderful daughters.  

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport and a vital connector of people, businesses and goods. Toronto Pearson has been named “Best Large Airport in North America serving more than 40 million passengers” for five years in a row by Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the world’s airports. In recognition of its Healthy Airport program, ACI has also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award for two years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

WestJet ratifies 10-year agreement with WestJet flight dispatchers

CALGARY, AB, May 25, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced that WestJet flight dispatchers, represented by the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), voted more than 90 per cent in favour of a 10-year agreement.  

This ratified agreement starts June 1, 2022 and expires on May 31, 2032.  

“As our industry continues to recover, this 10-year agreement will help the long-term sustainability of WestJet and demonstrates our commitment to our WestJetters, our guests and the communities we serve,” said Diederik Pen, WestJet Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our flight dispatchers exemplify true professionalism, dedication and help to ensure our operation runs smoothly day in and day out. The Canadian economy continues to transition from the challenges we faced during the pandemic. We welcome the ratification of the agreement and look forward to further collaboration to advance the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism industry.”  

About WestJet  
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic. 

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium. 

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com. 

Government of Canada supports Victoria International Airport with new funding for critical infrastructure projects

Transport Canada

VICTORIA, BC, May 25, 2022 /CNW/ – As Canada works towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in our airport infrastructure continue to be crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, workers and communities. Government of Canada investments also help ensure Canada’s aviation industry is well-positioned to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Today, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced more than $4 million in new funding to help Victoria International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The airport will receive more than $1.3 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for upgrades to the lighting for the approach to Runway 09. The work will include:

  • installation of new land-based and water-based lighting systems, with the water-based fixtures being structurally reinforced to withstand impacts from barges that work in the area; and
  • reconfiguration and extension of the existing floatplane dock to accommodate the new lighting system.

In addition to funding for the infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada also provided the airport with over $3 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Victoria and surrounding communities.

Quotes

“The Victoria International Airport is a key transportation hub not just for Victoria, but for much of Vancouver Island. It connects us with family and friends, helps us discover new destinations, and is a pivotal trade corridor for many Victoria businesses. This funding will enhance airport safety for travellers, air crews and airport workers, while supporting jobs and our regional economy.”  

Annie Koutrakis
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

“As we move forward with the safe and gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. These critical investments will allow the Victoria International Airport to invest in the infrastructure and tools needed to help re-invigorate the aviation industry and allow Canadians to feel safe and secure when they travel.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will provide $571.2 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security, connectivity to mass transit systems, or testing and screening related to COVID-19 and its variants.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, provided $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.

Security Incident at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

May 24, 2022

Security Incident at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

At approximately 1:30 p.m. today, the RCMP was requested to respond to a call for service at Victoria International Airport (YYJ).

“As always, the security and safety of our staff and visitors is our priority, said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) President and CEO.  The RCMP determined that there was potential risk to airport staff and passengers and directed that parts of the air terminal building close.”  This resulted in the cancellation of approximately 20 scheduled flights from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

The call for service is confirmed to have been an incendiary item and inert surplus military supplies contained in checked baggage.    

Throughout the incident, we cooperated fully with the authorities and emergency response crews and any other personnel that assisted the RCMP.  We are thankful for the teamwork shown by the RCMP, the YYJ emergency response teams and our mutual aid partners in Sidney and North Saanich. 

The airport is now open for regular operations and scheduled arrivals will resume this evening. Travellers are advised to confirm the status of their flight with their airline and to check our website at www.victoriairport.com.   

VAA will provide comment on the status of airport operations and further details about the incident may be directed to the RCMP.

A New Chapter for an Iconic Winnipeg Museum – Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

May 24, 2022

Even before its establishment as a city, Winnipeg was the epicentre of trade and commerce for Indigenous nations and travelers headed for all points north, south, east, and west. When air travel landed in Western Canada in the 1920s, Winnipeg continued as a gateway for development, eventually becoming the operational headquarters for each of Canada’s first three national air services. From aerial survey and mapping to cargo and passenger transport, to innovation in cold weather flying and rocket science, Manitobans have led the way both nationally and internationally in aviation and aerospace innovation.

“Because of its geographical location as the longitudinal center of Canada, Winnipeg has longstanding, deep ties with the aviation sector going back to the early 20th century. The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s state-of-the-art facility will honour that history through exhibits tailored to visitors young and old, local and from away.” The Honourable Jim Carr, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.

The new Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC), on the campus of the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, will tell the stories of the pioneers and innovators who put Canada on the aviation map.

When the museum’s founders set out on a journey to create an aviation museum, they were driven to preserve the history of bush flying in western and northern Canada. The museum they ended up building is so much greater in scope. They amassed a staggering collection that includes bush planes, military aircraft, commercial aircraft, and more than 70,000 artefacts.

Now, building on the incredible work these visionaries did to build a world-class collection, the team at the RAMWC is shuttling the museum into a new era.

Shifting demographics and the emergence of new technologies have redefined the expectations of visitors. Museum-goers now look for a more interactive experience, a space for community, and enhanced learning opportunities. The team behind RAMWC has taken all this into consideration.

Visitors to the new RAMWC will discover stories of pilots, engineers, explorers, and innovators in a new way. The immersive and engaging experience will take them on a journey throughout meticulously curated exhibits including videos produced by Centric Productions and Foundation Films.

Of special note is the museum’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, threaded throughout its content. The ‘Norway House’ exhibit details the crucial role the Indigenous peoples of this community played in helping pilots map and navigate the area’s challenging landscapes and weather. To help tell this story and others, RAMWC brought Dr. Niigaan Sinclair on board as their Indigenous Curator. With his expertise, the museum has ensured that Indigenous perspectives are considered in every panel of every exhibit.

In addition to its 17 exhibit spaces, the museum includes: a children’s play area – the Galaxy Exploration Zone featuring its new mascot, Hobbs; an observation lounge with stunning views of the airport’s runways and RCAF 17 Wing; meeting spaces; a new boutique giftshop, and more. RAMWC is looking forward to, once again, being a valuable part of Manitoba’s cultural and tourism landscape.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without generous public and private sector support including $10M each from the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba and more than $22.5M from private and corporate donors.

“On behalf of all Manitobans, I want to congratulate RAMWC’s team and board, and their donors and dedicated volunteers as they ‘take off’ on this new chapter in their new state-of-the-art facility that is sure to be a must-see tourist destination for generations to come,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “With enhanced exhibits and visitor experiences, the RAMWC will continue to be a place to gather and celebrate, learn and reflect, and I look forward to seeing the unique ways RAMWC will share the diverse stories of Canadian aviation to Manitobans and visitors from around the world.”

“We’re so thankful for the generous support we’ve received from our federal, provincial and municipal governments,” notes RAMWC President and CEO Terry Slobodian. “We would not be able to fulfill our mission to educate, inspire, and entertain without their contributions, and those of our community.” 

The team at RAMWC, along with its board and a dedicated team of volunteers, is excited to share this new chapter in the museum’s history with visitors.