Helicopters Magazine

CIA Expo Calgary: educating young aviators

May 8, 2017  By Matt Nicholls

Wings and Helicopters put a wrap on its 2017 Careers in Aviation Expos this weekend, as some 70 keen young aviators flocked to the WestJet Campus in Calgary for insightful education, networking and of course, fun.

A variety of speakers from a number of popular aviation and aerospace disciplines in both the fixed and rotary worlds shared insightful tips on career development, education, market trends and more.

Aspiring aviators including high school and college students along with those seeking their next great opportunity also had the chance to mingle with some 27 vendors on site, tapping the experience of key mentors and touring the dynamic WestJet Campus.

The day even included a surprise visit from the Schulich UAV – University of Calgary’s robotics team that recently competed in the 2017 Student UAS competition in Alma, Que. Team members did a wonderful job discussing future opportunities that lie ahead in the unmanned space.

And while attendee numbers were modest, the quality of attendee was very high. Those that passed up the brilliant sunshine and gorgeous 24-degree Celsius temperatures for a day inside – many with parents in tow – were treated to a worthwhile day of career development.

“The CIA Expos always present a great opportunity to share critical information with aspiring aviation professionals,” noted Stephanie Robinson, a captain with Air Georgian. “It is such a great opportunity to help young people who are passionate about their developing aviation careers.”

The passion principal and persevering through all challenges was a theme that rang true in almost every presentation. Scott Wilson, vice president of flight operations for WestJet and the event’s keynote speaker, reinforced these points throughout and reminded young aviators that they “need to be open to change, and not be afraid to explore whatever opportunities present themselves along the way.”

Wilson also gave a an intriguing glimpse into the inner workings of one of the nation’s most successful aviation operations and explained what it takes to be a “WestJetter.” He also touched on the company’s future opportunities, highlighting international expansion and its foray into the ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC) business.
Darryl Golbeck, general manager of Skyservice business aviation at YYC, explained opportunities in corporate aviation and also picked up on the passion principal theme, reminding students and young adults at all levels, that the all aspects of the journey will help shape the aviation professional that they become.

Golbeck and several of the speakers shared glimpses into their professional career developments, illustrating the notion that a flexible, adaptable perspective will pay dividends in any aviation or aerospace profession they pursue.

“You may not end up where you started,” Golbeck stressed, “but the journey will always be an exciting and fulfilling one.”

Attendees were also treated to presentations on air navigation, airport operations, maintenance and aerospace opportunities, what it’s like to be a flight attendant, life in the rotary world and more.

The Expo was indeed a fulfilling one on many levels and Wings and Helicopters would like to thank all of the sponsors, speakers and attendees at the Calgary CIA Expo for making this year’s event a success.

A big thank you also goes out to WestJet, its amazing staff of WestJetters and outstanding volunteers who sacrificed their Saturday to help make this event happen, The Wings and Helicopters


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