It’s a testament to the strength of the SWIFT community that in the months leading up to SWIFT 22 the demand from both delegates and exhibitors outstripped all expectations. Culminating in an exceptional 394 attendees, 83 joining online and 311 coming together at YUL.
The blended physical and virtual airfield conference and expo, hosted by Montréal–Trudeau International Airport from Sept 13th – 15th, was the first full SWIFT since 2019, delivered by Aviation Events Group. Despite the devastation inflicted on the industry during the Covid pandemic, the Marriott Montreal Airport In-Terminal Hotel was jam-packed with delegates from Canada, the US and Europe.
Donald Desrosiers, SWIFT chair and Main Director Airfield and Building Infrastructures Maintenance at ADMTL, highlighted this in his closing remarks “when we first thought about this event, we were not sure how many people would be here [yet] more stayed to the end than we originally expected would show up… It was fun to be back face to face and talk to industry peers.”
During the three-day ‘stepping stone’ event, delegates enjoyed a balanced mix of presentations from military and civil airports, regulators and industry experts. As well as the traditional CAPTG (Canadian Airport Pavement Technical Group) workshop, SWIFT 22 premiered a series of combined sessions exploring pavement design, maintenance, and preservation.
“This workshop was planned shorter in duration than previous years as we had expected fewer attendees. It’s great to see the appetite for it is here and that so many of us can get together today… we’ve ended up with similar numbers to 2019,” Myron Thiessen commented during the workshop’s opening remarks.
Closing the conference, Donald Desrosiers ‘passed the torch’ to Jeff Rorabeck, Director of Airfield Services at Winnipeg Airport Authority. Next year’s SWIFT will be a full equipment year, hosted at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) from 26th – 28th September 2023. Rorabeck explained that the planning for next year has already begun. “We’ve seen the involvement, dedication, effort that it takes to make it a success. Winnipeg is ready to take on that responsibility, and we’re proud to be hosting SWIFT 2023, to share ideas and discover the uniqueness that is Winnipeg.”