Airport executives from across Ontario will gather in Sault Ste. Marie this coming October for the annual conference of the Airport Management Council of Ontario (AMCO).
The event, which rotates between locations in Northern Ontario and the southern part of the province, is expected to draw between 100 and 150 people to the Sault, noted Terry Bos, president and CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corp.
"It's great for everybody to get together and discuss the issues (facing the industry)," Bos said. "It's always dynamic and changing every year."
This marks the fourth time the event has been hosted in Sault Ste. Marie--the city previously did the honours in 1989, 2002, and 2012--which had to bid for the opportunity to hold the event.
Though the schedule is still be- i ing finalized, Bos said there are a number of issues he expects to be broached during the conference.
Boeing 737 Max 8 planes haven't flown since March 2019, following two crashes--which took off from Indonesia and Ethiopia--that killed 346 people.
After aviation authorities worldwide grounded the planes, thousands of flights have been cancelled, resulting in millions in lost revenue for airports around the globe.
"I'm sure that'll be a hot topic still at that time," Bos said.
"Hopefully, the Max 8's flying again by then, but you never know, based on the latest news you hear, when exactly it's going to be back in the air."
The ongoing shortage of commercial airline pilots has been a perennial topic of concern.
According to the Air Transport Association of Canada, Canada will need more than 7,000 pilots by 2025, and demand is expected to grow.
Locally, Bos said, Sault College is addressing the issue by boosting numbers in its flight training program.
Its annual intake has grown to 110 from 100 and will grow again to 150 students over the next four years.
Airports across the country are also preparing for Transport Canada to...