Beginning today, Airports Council International (ACI), under the aegis of ACI World and ACI North America, is hosting some 2,000 delegates from all over the world at its annual conference, taking place this year in Montréal. Exceptionally, the conference is being held at the same time as the 39th triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), for which 3,000 dignitaries from 191 countries are expected in the city.
“The presence here of these organizations, along with IATA (the International Air Transport Association) and IFALPA (the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations) is something of a well-kept secret in our city-one that deserves to be shared and celebrated with Montrealers,” says James Cherry, President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), the instigator of Montréal Civil Aviation Week, which runs from September 26 to October 3, 2016.
ADM, in partnership with City of Montréal, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Aéro Montréal and Montréal International, seized this opportunity to organize the inaugural Montréal Civil Aviation Week. The purpose of the event is to underscore the presence in Montréal of these major international aviation industry organizations and their contributions to the vitality of the local aerospace industry, which encompasses four of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, some 200 companies, and more than 40,000 employees in Québec.
Current challenges in aviation on the agenda
The ACI World-NA Conference will address the principal challenges facing the world’s airports today. Topics to be debated at the September 26 and 27 sessions include crisis management in the era of the citizen journalist, airports as venues for showcasing cultures and communities to travellers, the key role of ICAO, and the impact of the digital revolution on the world’s airports.
In addition to the impressive gathering of civil aviation dignitaries, experts and professionals, the week will feature activities for members of the public, around the themes of innovation and the environment. Aéro Montréal hosts an open house day at École de Technologie Supérieure on October 1, during which teams of students will pitch solutions for recycling of end-of-life aircraft to a jury in a “Dragons’ Den” format. The Board of Trade, meanwhile, presents a September 30 lunch-and-learn session with Mr. Cherry on transformations at Montréal-Trudeau airport, and on October 3, a lecture in its International Leaders series with Bertrand Piccard, who piloted the Solar Impulse plane on its recent round-the-world journey without fuel.
ADM, speaking on behalf of all of its partners, has announced that Montréal Civil Aviation Week could become a regular event, coinciding with the ICAO Assembly, held every three years.