Miami's Growing Aviation Industry Featured at Upcoming Global Aviation Conference

April 25, 2017

(Miami, FL) April 26, 2017 - The well-known "Wings of Change" aviation industry conference is coming to Miami May 2 and 3 highlighting global and regional opportunities for Miami's aviation industry which has seen double digit growth in the last five years.  Presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Wings of Change Miami brings together industry experts, senior airline and airport executives and government authorities locally, regionally and from around the world. A biennial occurrence in Latin America, the Miami Wings of Change is the first to be held in the U.S. signifying Miami's growing importance as a global aviation hub. 

"Miami-Dade's connectivity and international business culture is a perfect match for this important aviation conference," said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "I'm pleased to welcome Wings of Change to Miami and to participate in a program with such a distinguished group of speakers."

"We are very pleased to be bringing Wings of Change to Miami. The city is an example of the many economic benefits generated from robust air connectivity. With passenger growth expected to double by 2035 globally, it is important for aviation's main stakeholders to have a forum to discuss the challenges and numerous opportunity for the air industry as we map out the future for our industry," said Peter Cerda, IATA's Regional Vice President for the Americas.  

Miami was chosen for the event because of the local aviation industry's recent growth and the county's global business assets. Aviation jobs have grown 23 percent from 2011 to 2016 with today's average annual salaries reaching more than $82,000. Our state and county are longtime aviation hubs with growing flight-training and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) subsectors in Miami-Dade. See fact sheet for more information on the local aviation industry.

"With this event, our aviation industry is being recognized as one of the largest and growing aviation sectors in the nation," said Sheldon T. Anderson, Interim President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. "IATA's active presence in Miami as the industry's top trade group is also a great benefit to the local economy."

The Wings of Change event can serve as a catalyst for the county's growing aviation sector as eMerge Americas helps promote the tech sector and Art Basel promotes Miami's art world.

Wings of Change Speakers include:

  • Gabriela Frias, Anchor, CNN
  • Nicholas Calio, President & CEO, Airlines for America
  • Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World
  • Chris Barks, Director of Western Hemisphere, FAA
  • Romaine Seguin, President, Americas, UPS International
  • Tracy Cooper, CEO, Bahamas Air
  • Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Vice President of Sales, The Americas, Lufthansa Group
  • Jeffrey Goodell, Vice President Government and Airport Affairs, JetBlue
  • Barry Eccleston, President, Airbus Americas
  • Donna Hrinak, President, Latin America, Boeing
  • John Watret, Chancellor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor, Miami-Dade County
  • Emilio T. Gonzalez, Director & CEO, Miami-Dade Aviation Department
  • William D. Talbert III, CEO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Alan Pellegrini, CEO, Thales USA
  • Blake Scholl, Founder & CEO, Boom Technology

Wings of Change Conference topics include:

  • Miami's Aviation Strategy - A Global Gateway
  • Economic Sate of the Global Airline Industry
  • The Executive Chat - A High Level Industry View
  • Disruptive Innovation of the Passenger Experience
  • Aviation's impact in the Caribbean
  • From Pharma to Flowers - Air Cargo Makes It Happen
  • Preparing the Next Generation of Aviation Leaders

About IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 265 airlines or 83 percent of total air traffic. The organization supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. Its mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry and to be the force for value creation and innovation driving a safe, secure and profitable air transport industry that sustainably connects and enriches our world.

About Miami-Dade Beacon Council

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is the county's official economic development partnership. The not-for-profit public-private organization focuses on job creation and economic growth. Since 1985, the organization has assisted more than 1,000 businesses that have created nearly 67,000 direct jobs and added more than $4.3 billion in new capital investments. It accomplishes this by marketing Miami-Dade as a world-class business location, growing local companies and shaping the local economy's future. For more information, visit www.beaconcouncil.com