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ATAC 2023 Conference Awards

The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) had the honour and privilege of recognizing three remarkable individuals who have demonstrated strong commitment to the aviation industry at our 2023 Canadian Aviation Conference and Tradeshow this year.


At our 2023 Canadian Aviation Conference & Tradeshow this year in Montreal, ATAC Director, Robert Connors, General Manager of Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, was awarded the ATAC Lifetime Honoree Award.

The ATAC Lifetime Honoree Award is the Association’s privileged recognition for individuals who have made a significant contribution to the improvement of the Association and the Canadian air transport industry as a whole. The ATAC Lifetime Honoree recognizes 25 years of engagement in the Canadian Air Transport Industry.

Bob has been with the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre since 2002 and has been the General Manager since 2008. He has a unique combination of management experience with non-profit associations and educational institutions (Scouts Canada, YMCA, Skills Canada), post-secondary education (Humber College) and the Ministry of Skills Development in the Ontario Government. He has been working with flight training schools in Ontario since 1996. Born and raised in Montreal, Bob earned a Master of Arts degree after completing his bachelor studies and earned his private pilot license in 1972.

Bob has served on the ATAC Board since 2010 representing the interests and concerns of flight training operators across the country. He looks forward to continuing to ensure that ATAC provides relevant & high value services for flight training members to meet operational challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. While on the Board, he has been a member of the Executive Committee and provided leadership to the pilot shortage initiative (pre-covid) and actively worked on guidance for schools during and after the covid pandemic.

Congratulations to Bob Connors on his outstanding dedication and commitment to aviation!


At the ATAC 2023 Canadian Aviation Conference & Tradeshow this year in Montreal, Quentin Smith, President of Pacific Coastal Airlines, was awarded the Jim Glass Humanitarian award.

The Jim Glass Humanitarian Award is given to those in the aviation community who best exemplify Jim Glass’s generosity and involvement in his community. Any ATAC member or any other member of the aviation community who has demonstrated selfless generosity, compassion, business acumen and best exemplify Jim’s values are eligible.

Nominees need to have demonstrated strong business acumen and serious community involvement including but not restricted to the following: furthering education, fostering community health, supporting the arts, promoting literacy, fighting poverty, and encouraging amateur sports.

It is ATAC’s pleasure to present this award to Quentin, who has a long history of supporting the communities which his airline services. Quentin has been recognized through the years for his support of a range of organizations such as the BC SPCA, Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, Heiltsuk First Nations Community and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Quentin has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medallion for long term support of the BC Special Olympic. Other organizations supported include the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society, Source Club of Powell River and the Native Education College in Vancouver.

Thank you both to Dan Glass, Jim Glass’ brother, for presenting the award and thank you to Darcy Coonfer for attending on Quentin’s behalf to accept the award.

Congratulations Quentin!


At the ATAC 2023 Canadian Aviation Conference and Tradeshow ATAC had the distinct pleasure of presenting Kathy Fox, Chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, with an award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to aviation.

Kathy Fox, with a career spanning over 40 years, dedicated herself to air traffic control and aviation. Starting in 1974, she worked at various Transport Canada control towers and the Montréal Area Control Centre. Her roles included overseeing air traffic control training and holding progressively senior positions at Air Traffic Services Headquarters in Ottawa. Joining NAV CANADA in 1996, she excelled as Director of Safety & Quality, Director of Air Traffic Services, and Vice-President of Operations until her retirement in 2007. Kathy, a McGill University graduate, also earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Human Factors and System Safety from Lund University, Sweden. An accomplished pilot with over 5000 flight hours, she holds numerous awards, including the Fédération aéronautique internationale Paul Tissandier Diploma, the Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award, and induction into the Quebec Air and Space Hall of Fame in 2004. She further received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award in 2010 and the David Charles Abramson Flight Instructor Safety Award in 2011, and in 2016 she was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Congratulations Kathy, your dedication, drive and commitment to the industry and safety in transportation as a whole is both admirable and deserving of commendation.

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