Dave - People of Pearson

"I love aviation—I’ve loved it since birth. When I graduated high school, I went straight to Georgian College for Aviation Management, then I joined the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) in 2001.

I’ve been an Aviation Safety Officer (ASO) with the GTAA for thirteen years. The ASO is a critically important role. We are a liaison between the GTAA and all the tenant companies that operate airside here. We’re watching over the airfield, keeping the operation safe so that passengers have a seamless experience. We do everything from emergency response and enforcement of the airfield rules to security compliance and accident investigations. Within 30 seconds we can be pretty much anywhere on the airfield, carrying everything from traffic cones and medical kits to fire extinguishers and drain guards that protect against spills.

One of my favourite calls is when there’s a car too close to the outer fence. I always take those calls because it’s usually a family that just wants to watch airplanes. It’s important that safety rules are always followed, but I’ll never take that experience away from somebody because those boys and girls could be our next pilots or air traffic controllers.

I’ve got two sons and we recently took an aviation-themed boys’ trip together. We were in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and I had a teary moment knowing that my whole career, my love of aviation—it wouldn’t be the way it is today without the Wright brothers. To see where flight has taken us, the industry and the wonder it’s created, I’m excited to see what’s in the future."

- Dave, Aviation Safety Officer, GTAA

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