NATA Membership Update - January 2024

After over 7 years of tireless support of NATA members and the Board of Directors, Glenn Priestly stepped down from his role as NATA’s Executive Director last year.  During his time with NATA, Glenn proved to be a relentless advocate for NATA members and his passion for supporting Northern and remote operators could never be questioned.  Likewise, his tireless efforts to support the NATA Board of Directors is sincerely appreciated.  Glenn’s efforts ensured that NATA’s voice was always heard and his tenacity often prevented one-size-fits-all responses that failed to account for the unique challenges that NATA members face on a daily basis.  While the NATA Board of Directors was sad to see Glenn leave, we wish him well in his much-deserved retirement and thank him for his unwavering support of NATA and its members.

Following Glenn’s departure, the NATA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Bernard Gervais has accepted the position as Executive Director.  Bernard brings over 20 years of advocacy and representation experience to NATA.  He has developed significant relationships with various regulatory agencies in his previous roles and has a history of ensuring that national carriers do not dominate the landscape of government and regulatory action.  Bernard also has shown an interest and connection to the Northern and remote areas of Canada – both in his personal and professional engagement.  The NATA Board of Directors is confident that Bernard will be a strong advocate for our members and will ensure that our voice will continue to be heard, and respected, by the various regulatory agencies.

Throughout this transition, Colin Dempsey has continued to support the Board of Directors as the General Manager.  We are confident that Colin and Bernard will form a strong support team and we are looking forward to ongoing positive results as NATA advocates for our members.

Please join the NATA Board of Directors in wishing Glenn nothing but enjoyment in his well-deserved retirement.  At the same time please also join us as we welcome Bernard to the Executive Director position and wish him success in this new role.

Despite the changes in the administrative support of NATA, the Board of Directors continues to ensure that the unique needs and challenges of Northern and remote aviation are heard, understood, and considered by the various regulatory agencies.  There is no shortage of examples over the last several years that have highlighted the unique challenges associated with Northern and remote operations or the disproportionate impacts of environmental crises on those operations.  NATA has continued to lobby both the federal government and various support agencies to ensure that our needs are met.  Likewise, we have ensured that your unique circumstances are understood during proposed regulatory changes like the Air Passenger Protection Regulations and Approach Ban changes.  NATA’s advocacy, along with out other industry association partners, has ensured that the CTA is aware of potential unintended consequences of their initial changes to the APPR would generate.  Our feedback has resulted in delays to the proposed regulatory changes as the CTA reviews their initial draft changes.  Likewise, we have triggered a great deal of additional discussion and review of the Transport Canada plans to update the Approach Ban regulations to ensure that Northern and remote operators are not unduly harmed by a bias towards operations at major southern airports.  While work continues to be required, we have ensured that the NATA voice is not being ignored.

Plans are well underway for the 2024 NATA Conference and Trade Show in Yellowknife this spring.  We are looking forward to an exciting and successful event between April 29th and May 1st in Yellowknife.  Registration has recently opened, and the NATA Board of Directors and administrative team is hoping that you will join us for our 48th annual AGM in Yellowknife.