The ramp at Chartright’s Waterloo FBO will be busy in the summer of 2018, when the facility will host the Canadian Business Aviation Association’s annual convention. Mike Reyno Photo
Canadian business aviation’s premier event is heading to Ontario’s Waterloo region in 2018.
The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) has selected the Region of Waterloo International Airport and the new Chartright fixed-base operator (FBO) facility as the site of its summer 2018 national convention.
“We don’t just operate from hub airports,” said Rudy Toering, president and chief executive officer of the CBAA.
“Business aviation operates from the major hubs, but they also operate and use regional airports more so than the airlines do. Infrastructure for airports is extremely important for us.
“Waterloo fits that mould perfectly: Proximity to a hub, but a regional airport that addresses and supports multiple sectors of aviation.”
Exhibitors and attendees will gather inside Chartright’s 50,000-square-foot hangar, as well as on a nearby apron and adjoining taxiway.
“It’s going to increase the profile of the airport,” said Adam Keller, president and CEO of Chartright.
The CBAA’s annual convention is held in various cities across the country. Skyservice Toronto was the host in 2012, shown here. In 2018, the event will be coming to Chartright’s new facility in Waterloo. Mike Reyno Photo
“I think there’s likely many operators around Canada that don’t appreciate everything this airport has to offer, and if we can expose them to that, as well as this facility, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity.”
Waterloo lobbied hard to attract the convention, which will be held in Calgary in 2016 and in Abbotsford in 2017.
It is expected to attract hundreds of delegates, plus international and Canadian speakers and Canada’s largest static display of private and corporate aircraft.
“We worked with Chartright and they were receptive right away,” said Chris Wood, general manager of Region of Waterloo International Airport.
“We’re really excited to have all the business aviation professionals in the country come here and see our airport and see what we have to offer.”
The airport sits just outside the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, about 100 kilometres west of Toronto. It hopes to grow significantly in the next few years, as part of a regional approach to meeting the rising demand for air travel in Southern Ontario.
“We have considerable infrastructure and investment in lands available, so we really want to showcase the opportunity that’s here,” said Wood.
“Things aren’t getting easier in Toronto for corporate users, and we want to show that we are corporate-friendly and we want to play a bigger role.”
The airport supports commercial, corporate and general aviation with daily scheduled air service and connections to over 250 destinations in 40 countries, according to a news release.
It is home to 25 businesses that collectively employ over 300 people.
“There are businesses growing here, and it’s a very, very well-placed venue,” said Toering. “We are very excited about Waterloo in 2018.”
Business aviation is a $10.9 billion sector, employing over 43,000 Canadians in every region of the country.