Helicopters Magazine

CIA Expo Calgary ready to rock!

April 13, 2017  By Matt Nicholls

The 2017 CIA Expo in Calgary on Saturday, May 6 at the WestJet Campus is ready for take off!

This year’s speaker lineup promises to give attendees worthwhile insights into a variety of aviation and aerospace careers.

Wings and Helicopters magazines have lined up a select number of key industry leaders on both the rotary- and fixed-wing sides of the industry at both events to help shed more light on career options.

Individual speakers and mentors will also provide attendees with a sense of where the industry is headed and share plenty of real-life examples to illustrate just what to do – and what not to do – in a chosen professional pursuit.

The price of the Expos is $65 and includes all aspects of the education program, hangar tours, lunch, parking and more.


“I really enjoyed sitting on one of the panels last year at the event in Calgary and sharing some insights into the world of aviation and help kids learn how to succeed – and offer some insight into what the industry is all about,” notes Ritwik Dey, standards pilot with WestJet, Calgary’s aerospace giant and the host of this year’s event. “These days are invaluable for any young person with an interest in aviation or aerospace. The information shared and networking opportunities are invaluable.”

Dey’s colleague, Scott Wilson, vice-president of flight operations for WestJet, will deliver this year’s keynote address, targeting not only the WestJet story, but how he found his way at one of Canada’s leading airlines and what it’s like to direct the oversight of more than 700 safe daily departures across WestJet’s network.

Wilson and Dey join an impressive list of speakers covering a broad range of disciplines including commercial aviation, business aviation, NAV CANADA, ground operations, flight attendants, MRO and completions, rotary wing operations, fixed base operations, business aviation charters, flight attendants and more. 

The event also boasts numerous networking opportunities to give attendees the chance to mingle with representatives from colleges, universities, flight schools and other aviation and aerospace vendors to attain a better grasp of what it takes to make it in this business.

And perhaps the best part of the event is it takes place in a live aviation venue – the dynamic WestJet Campus in Calgary, the base of one of the nation’s top aviation and aerospace companies. 

WestJet was founded in 1996 by Clive Beddoe and a team of like-minded partners, who believed that “just because you pay less for your flight, doesn’t mean you should get less.”

Armed with that philosophy, three aircraft, five destinations and 220 friendly WestJetters, the company began its journey – a journey that would help it become a company of more than 9,700 passionate WestJetters flying one of the youngest fleets of Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft to more than 88 destinations across its network.

Some of the other speakers on the roster include:
• Steve Curilla, Aircraft Captain, Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS)
A 23-year veteran pilot with Calgary’s Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS), Steve Curilia has flown countless missions for western Canada’s air medical services. He has also done a wide variety of contract work including flying offshore in New Zealand and flown throughout western Canada fighting forest fires and doing utility work.

• Erwin Weeknik, Maintenance Planner, Bell Helicopter
Born and raised in a Central Alberta farming community, Erwin got into aviation in the late 1990s, graduating from the SAIT Aviation Maintenance program in 1999. He became a licensed M1 AME and A&P by 2002. He has spent his career primarily on the rotor side of the coin and is currently has been working for Bell Helicopter, Canadian Government Programs.

• Barry Seddon, Sales/Service Manager, Vector Aerospace
A veteran AME with keen understanding of both fixed- and rotary-wing maintenance and aerospace development, Barry has spent more than 40 years in the aviation and aerospace industry with a number of companies including Athabaska Airways, StandardAero, Sunwest Home Aviation and Vector Aerospace.

Now sales and service manager with Vector in Calgary, Seddon has a keen understanding of industry trends and what you need to thrive and survive in this competitive and vibrant space.

• Michelle Precourt, Manager of Recruitment and Student Monitoring, NAV CANADA
Michelle Precourt is NAV CANADA’s Manager of Recruitment & Student Monitoring, currently overseeing the company’s air traffic services recruitment program. In this role, Michelle is responsible for sourcing a steady stream of qualified candidates that will enter air traffic controller and flight service specialist training programs with NAV CANADA’s Operations group, which is the company’s largest department and the one responsible for the front-line coordination of air traffic. Michelle’s professional background is in Human Resources where she has played a key role in recruitment and selection in both regional and national recruitment programs for over eight years at NAV CANADA.

An exciting addition to this year’s event will be our aviation and aerospace “speed dating” mentor tables, where those attendees that are a bit too shy to ask a question in the “Q&A” portion of the formal presentations, can take things offline at the various specialized “theme” tables and ask their questions in a more intimate, one-on-one setting. Mentors from across several industries platforms will be on hand to help attendees find the answers they need.

Some of the themed tables include: aviation and aerospace education; aerospace; fixed wing aviation; rotary wing aviation; maintenance and completions; airports and ground operations; air navigation and flight attendants.

For more information on the Toronto CIA Expo or our May 6 CIA Expo Calgary event at the WestJet campus in Calgary, contact Wings and Helicopters editor Matt Nicholls (education) 416-725-5637, mnicholls@annexweb.com, or Mena Miu, 905-713-4351, mmiu@anexwweb.com for sponsorship opportunities.


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