SWIFT ATTENDANCE UP 40%
September 26 – 28th, Winnipeg
Hosted by Winnipeg Airports Authority, the SWIFT 23 conference took place at the Winnipeg Delta Hotel while the first full ‘equipment year’ expo (since 2017) was held at YWG’s magically transformed Combined Services Building.
SWIFT continued its long-term partnership with CAPTG (the Canadian Airfield Pavement Technical Group) ensuring strong technical coverage of asphalt and concrete runways, airport aprons, and taxiways. Headline sponsors Team Eagle hosted delegates at their legendary ‘Eagle Night’ at Rudy’s Eat & Drink on Tuesday evening as well as donating prizes, including a $1,000 travel voucher, to three lucky winners at the 2023 ‘Expo Social’ on Wednesday afternoon.
During the two conference days (Tuesday sponsored by Tradewind Scientific, and Thursday sponsored by Aebi Schmidt) opened with Tom Ruth’s keynote on sustainability with a detailed look at ESG megatrends. Other stand-out sessions included the The Evolving Winter Ecosystem, People & Resourcing, and Net Zero Fleet Strategy.
This year’s expo (sponsored by Boschung and Airport Technologies Inc), saw a large space around YWG’s Combined Service Building receive a temporary exemption from its regular ‘airside’ designation. The day was enhanced by a series of live demonstrations including a ‘RoBird’ drone flight (Aerium Analytics), AI-based perimeter inspection (a groundbreaking collaboration between Eagle Aerospace, Honda, Cisco, Illuminex AI and Genwave), line removal and painting (Graco), pavement marking (Ennis Flint), and a ‘MARWIS’ runway condition assessment (the Get Go Inc.). Aebi Schmidt also displayed the impressive Supra 5002.
Thursday’s Closing Plenary saw Jeff Rorabeck (Director of Airfield Services at WAA) hand over the SWIFT baton to Beth Henschell (Director, Airside Operations, YVR) ahead of next year’s event in Vancouver from Sept 16th – 19th. SWIFT Committee Chair, Donald Desrosiers, YUL, presented one randomly selected delegate, Yuriy Abramov of WAA, with a $1000 cheque.