Strategic Aviation Advisory Council

Providing recommendations to the Government of Alberta on ways to improve the aviation and aerospace sector to boost economic growth in Alberta.


The Strategic Aviation Advisory Council provides expert advice on aviation and aerospace sector improvements, leading to greater efficiencies, new economic development opportunities, expanded markets and job creation in our province.

The Strategic Aviation Advisory Council focuses on setting a stage for a strong long-term growth and for future aviation and aerospace development through research, analysis and consultation with key stakeholders.


  • Open

  • Results under review

  • Completed

Who is listening

Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors


The council members will research and analyze information about the aviation and aerospace sectors and consult with key industry stakeholders.  

Members will be required to submit an annual report to the Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors with recommendations on ways to improve aviation and aerospace-related services, infrastructure and training.

The council will make recommendations to government on how to improve the aviation and aerospace industries with a focus on:

  • strategic planning, prioritization, securing and retention of intra-provincial, regional, national and international air services in support of economic growth, tourism development and sector diversification
  • strategic use, optimization and investment in aviation-related programs and infrastructure to address opportunities for commercial and private pilot training and licensing
  • improvements to scheduled, charter and general aviation airport services and infrastructure, including services to remote communities
  • supporting focused development of aviation and aerospace related research, technology, programming, production capacity and operational expertise and training
  • supporting emergency medical and fire response in the province through aviation-related services and infrastructure
  • supporting agriculture-focused aviation-related services and infrastructure
  • federally regulated aviation-airport services and airport and transportation policies that may positively or negatively impact the province

Council members

The appointed members of the Strategic Aviation Advisory Council have extensive knowledge of the aviation industry and are qualified to make recommendations on how to improve related services, infrastructure and training.

Richard Gotfried, chair

Richard Gotfried was an MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek from May 2015 to May 2023. As an MLA,   he introduced the council’s enabling legislation as a private member’s bill (Bill 201). He worked as district sales manager for Cathay Pacific Airways for 15 years and was vice-president of corporate and community engagement with Calgary Economic Development between 2011 and 2013.

Brian Andrus

Brian Andrus is the board secretary of the Alberta Aviation Council. He serves as a board member for 700 Wing Royal Canadian Air Force Association.

David Curtis

David Curtis has senior executive level experience with the De Havilland Aircraft Company, Longview Aviation Capital, and Viking Air Limited. In addition, he has served as the chair of the board of directors, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. 

Dr. Elizabeth Evans

Elizabeth Evans is the interim-provost and vice-president academic at Mount Royal University (MRU) and the accountable executive for the MRU Aviation Program. She is the regional director for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

Lynda Holden

Lynda Holden is the associate dean for Aviation and Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAlT). She has 13 years of aviation experience working as an aircraft maintenance engineer in southern Alberta and 14 years supporting the aviation programs at SAlT.

Justin Jimmy

Justin Jimmy is a capacity development manager with the First Nations Financial Management Board, which helps First Nation governments and organizations achieve financial management certification and development of strong governance processes. He is currently a trustee on a First Nation investment trust and a committee member for Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee.

Kendra Kincade

Kendra Kincade is an air traffic controller with NAV Canada. Kincade was appointed an Honorary Colonel of 417 Combat Support Squadron, 4 Wing Cold Lake in October 2018 and is the founder and CEO of Elevate Aviation where she spends her time advocating and working to promote the world of aviation to women.

Robert Ndule

Robert Ndule is a captain with AirSprint Private Aviation in Calgary. Robert has more than 15 years of experience operating airplanes and helicopters and providing corporate oversight of civil aviation regulations and logistics contracts. 

Ferio Pugliese

Ferio Pugliese is the senior vice president of people and culture for Parkland Fuel Corporation. Prior to this, he was a senior vice president with Air Canada and has also served as an executive with WestJet and WestJet Encore, WestJet’s regional airline.

Denean Tomlin

Denean Tomlin is currently the Industrial and Technology Benefits and Offsets Manager for Arcfield Canada, a provider of high-value logistics and in-service support for advanced avionics (military focus). She is also the former president of the Western Canadian Defence Industries Association.