More than 35 years of experience in the aviation industry — that’s nothing to sneeze at! Tell us a little more about your career.

I started out at Transport Canada in 1976 as a flight service specialist (FSS) and was later promoted to station manager. In the late 1990s, I decided to embark on a new adventure at NAV Canada, where I was put in charge of numerous operational investigations and safety reviews. I also had a hand in incorporating human factors into these systems. On top of that, I carried out a number of projects involving airspace reviews and aeronautical studies, including risk analysis for ADS-B implementation in the Area Control Centre for the Montreal Flight Information Region and for the installation of wind farms in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Later, from 2011 to 2013, I worked for ICAO on a series of safety studies looking at modernizing air traffic management systems in Madagascar and other African countries.

What do you specialize in at OCTANT Aviation?

As a consultant on the OCTANT team, I make good use of my 35 years of experience in safety management systems (SMS) and aircraft operations. As we all know, air safety and regulatory compliance of facilities and operations are an absolute priority in air transport. My goal is therefore to work closely with clients to help them optimize their operations as they roll out their development and restructuring projects. I’m also the go-to person for quality assurance audits for certified airports in Canada.

How did OCTANT react in response to the COVID-19 crisis?

The onset of the pandemic left the entire airline industry reeling. With all the public health restrictions in place, we had no choice but to adapt our approach in order to continue meeting our clients’ needs in the new era of social distancing and limited travel. The reason we came out ahead was because we were able to diversify our services to help our clients get ready to ramp up their operations post-COVID. We already had several audits in the pipeline when the lockdown came into effect. So we switched over to virtual mode and had clients provide videos or photos of what we needed to complete the process. I also worked on developing an SMS application (AKILA) to save airport staff time and energy. That was a project I quite enjoyed. Another thing we focused on was developing comprehensive training programs compliant with Canadian Aviation Regulations, on topics such as SMS, Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices (TP312), emergency response plans, airport security, human and organizational factors, Restricted Operator Certification (ROC-A) and airport ground handling services training. These types of training are particularly useful in developing teams and helping them acquire new skills on the job. They are available in both French and English, in person or remotely, and are always tailored to suit the specific needs of our clients. My expertise extends to all SMS aspects for airport operators as well as Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices (TP312). It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to pass on this body of knowledge to the next generation of people who share my love for aviation. Ultimately, that’s what inspires me to give my all to OCTANT.