Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport hosted the 20th Annual Aviation Symposium last week at the Arizona Biltmore, drawing attendees from around the globe. From the first symposium in 1992 which saw TWA file for bankruptcy protection to the formation of the OneWorld alliance in 1999 to last year’s merger of United and Continental, the annual meeting has drawn a powerful lineup of attendees and presenters to the Valley of the Sun.
This year’s lineup included a who’s who among upper management of the worlds leading airlines as well as the heads of organizations like the Air Transport Association, Airports Council International and the Air Line Pilots Association.
The symposium’s keynote luncheon speaker was George Whitesides, (Shown right and below), Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Galatic, the United States-based space tourism company. Virgin Galactic developed the WhiteKnight Two and SpaceShip Two air launched space systems using technology developed by Scaled Composites based on the X Prize -winning SpaceShip One, which was piloted twice into space and now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Thursday’s sessions included topics on technology and how it’s impacting the airline/customer relationship, alliances, joint ventures and network strategy and the increasingly regulated deregulated airline industry. Friday’s sessions included aircraft fleet issues, open skies and airline consolidation.
(Photos by Kim Stevens – Top Discussing the tarmac delay rule, from left is moderator Jennifer Michels, Editor, Aviation Daily, panelists Nicholas Calio, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Transport Association, Tim Canoll, Executive Administrator, Air Line Pilots Association, Andrea Fischer Newman, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Delta Airlines, Greg Principato, President, Airports Council International, North America, and Steven Taylor, Vice President, Regulatory, Labor and Employment Law, FedEx Express. )