During a recent strategy session held on October 20th 2018, the Board of Directors and Management Staff of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC), along with Business Development support team from Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) received a presentation from one of Canada’s leading aviation economists Dr. Mike Tretheway on the current and near term future state of the aviation industry, including trends, risk factors, and pilot shortage. Following the presentation a strategic planning exercise was carried out with input from the presentation provided, as well as management staff presentations. The planning areas covered were current and future infrastructure needs, potential partnerships, and becoming an aviation hub. The board was assisted by Jody Rebek DiCerbo, VIVE (Management Consulting and Events).
The strategy session took an opportunity to focus on some of the successes achieved since the last strategy session held in October 2017. These successes included the completion of the latest phase of expansion at JD Aero and continued capital upgrades to the terminal and operations building. The previous year has also seen a continuation passenger traffic with 217,162 passenger in the 12 months to September 30th 2018. The past 12 months have seen 7 monthly records for passenger levels as well as setting 12-month passenger records in 6 of the 12 months.
This past year has seen further capital investments into safety, security, and general upgrades of the airport of over $1.5 million. This brings the SSMADC investment into capital upgrades at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport since taking ownership on March 28, 1998 to a total of over $41,500,000.
The retreat provided an opportunity for the board to review these accomplishments and explore ways to further enhance the airport’s ability in meeting its challenges. It also allowed an opportunity to once again celebrate 20 years of private ownership of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport and the uniqueness of being one of only two private regional sized airports in the country.