For 40 years, the Northern Air Transport Association (NATA) has been supporting and promoting northern and remote aviation in Canada. This past April, in Whitehorse, Yukon, NATA celebrated its 40th Anniversary by hosting an Annual General Meeting (AGM), conference, and tradeshow. Conference-goers attended interactive and informative discussions with aviation industry and government members. Various special events and social functions were held as well, making use of some of Whitehorse’s most iconic locations such as the Air North hangars, the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, the MacBride Museum, and the Westmark Hotel.
The NATA conference was also an opportunity to recognize a few members receiving honours this year. Two recipients of this year’s Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) inductees were congratulated at the conference: Fred Carmichael and Kathy Fox. CAHF inductees are selected for their contributions to Canada’s development through their integral roles in the nation’s aviation history. It’s the highest honour in Canadian aviation.
Fred Carmichael has spent over 60 years in Northern aviation. His accomplishments include aviation entrepreneur, search and rescue missions, medical evacuations and mentorship of numerous aboriginal youth. Fred’s contributions to community life in the Northwest Territories include long-term service with the Gwich’in Tribal Council, and holding the position of chair of the Aboriginal Pipeline group since 2002. In 1955, he was the first aboriginal person in the north to get a pilot’s licence. He is an Honorary Life Member of NATA.
Kathy Fox has dedicated her entire life to the aviation community in Canada through flight instruction, sport aviation, sport parachuting, and the promotion and advancement of flight safety. She has had an outstanding career in the air traffic control community and reached the highest levels of management with Nav Canada. Following retirement with the transportation Safety Board, she was appointed chair in 2014.
Stephen Nourse, NATA Executive Director, was also honoured at the conference and given a NATA Honourary Life Membership with the announcement of his retirement at the end of the AGM. These awards recognize those who have made significant contributions both to northern aviation and to NATA over their lives and careers.