Welcome and Registration

Pick up your name badge at registration, grab a refreshment and get comfortable for our sessions.


Welcome Message from Abbotsford’s Mayor

Speaker: Henry Braun | Mayor, City of Abbotsford

Room: Airside Hangar

Advances in Aerial Firefighting

Speaker: Christian Bergeron, Global Sales Director, Aerial Firefighting Aircraft, Viking Air Ltd.

Room: Airside Hangar

Network Break, Sponsored by Bell

Grab a refreshment and take the opportunity to network with exhibitors.


Case Study #1

Please stay tuned for information on our speakers and session topics.

Room: Airside Hangar

Helicopter Innovation for Aerial Firefighting

Speaker: Lorenz Jessen, Regional Sales Manager, Bell Textron

Room: Airside Hangar

Network Break, Sponsored by Bell

Grab a coffee and a snack and network with other thoughtful leaders in the industry.

Room: Airside Hangar

Case Study #2

Please stay tuned for information on our speakers and session topics.

Room: Airside Hangar

Train Like You Fight, Fight Like You Train

Speaker: Mark Baird, Program Manager, Flight Simulation, Conair Aerial Firefighting

Room: Airside Hangar

Lunch and Exhibitor Networking

Take this opportunity to visit with vendors around the room and bounce ideas off other attendees.

Room: Airside Hangar

Case Study #3

Please stay tuned for information on our speakers and session topics.

Room: Airside Hangar

Air Operations, A helicopter pilot’s inside look of aerial firefighting

Presented by Mike Sagely, Senior Pilot (Sikorksy Firehawk S70i), Air Operations, Los Angeles County Fire Department

Room: Airside Hangar

Network Break, Sponsored by Bell

Take this opportunity to meet with the vendors around the room you haven’t had a chance to talk to, grab a coffee, and network with industry experts.

Room: Airside Hangar

Case Study #4

Room: Airside Hangar

Transforming Reactive Aviation Cultures: Safety Leadership in Aviation

Speaker: Rob Dyas – Vice President, Aviation, Babcock Canada

Room: Airside Hangar

Network Break, Sponsored by Bell

Grab a coffee and a snack and network with other thoughtful leaders in the industry.

Room: Airside Hangar

Case Study #5

Room: Airside Hangar

The World of Helicopter Firefighting Operators

Speaker: Fred Jones, President and CEO, Helicopter Association of Canada

Room: Airside Hangar

Exhibitors, Networking

Speaker: Jon Robinson, Editor, Wings and Helicopters magazine.

Thank you for joining us for our first aviation forum series event. Please provide your feedback in a follow-up survey or reach out to, your input means alot to us.

Room: Airside Hangar


Christian Bergeron
Global Sales Director, Aerial Firefighting Aircraft, Viking Air Ltd.

Christian Bergeron has been working in the aerospace industry for over 25 years in a variety of senior management customer service roles encompassing business, commercial, military and specialized aircraft. In the past 17 years, Christian has focused on worldwide fleet support and aircraft sales of the Canadair aerial firefighting aircraft.

Christian currently holds the position of Global Sales Director, Aerial Firefighting Aircraft at Viking Air Ltd. Viking is a world-class Canadian aerospace company that is the OEM of de Havilland Canada heritage line of aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7), the Canadair 215, 215T, and 415, and manufactures the Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. In 2016, Viking acquired the Canadair amphibious aerial firefighting program.

Fred Jones
President and CEO, Helicopter Association of Canada

Fred Jones has served as the leader of Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) since the Fall of 2008. He is a seasoned helicopter pilot holding both ATPL-H and ATPL-A Licenses. Prior to joining HAC, he was the Vice-President Operations & Legal Affairs for the Canadian Airports Council (CAC) for four years. Prior to that, he served with the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) for 13 years, including his role as Vice President of Flight Operations.

Jones is a former Transport Canada Inspector, a former Accident Investigator and Safety Analyst for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. He has a BA in Psychology from Western University and a Law Degree from the University of Ottawa and he is a graduate of Canadore College’s Helicopter Flight Training Program. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1986 and is currently licensed to practice law in the Province of Ontario.

Henry Braun
Mayor, City of Abbotsford

Henry Braun has been an Abbotsford resident for practically his entire life and was the co-owner, president and CEO of Abbotsford-based Pacific Northern Rail Contractors until his retirement in 2003. Braun was also involved with companies that developed and owned commercial, industrial and residential income-producing real estate properties. As a long-time Abbotsford businessman, he is enjoying the opportunity to put his years of business experience to work for the City of Abbotsford and its residents. Braun has a deliberate plan focusing on Abbotsford as the Hub of the Fraser Valley, composed of four integral cornerstones: vibrant economy, fiscal discipline, organizational alignment and complete community.

Braun was first elected to serve as a Council Member with the City of Abbotsford in 2011. In November 2014, he was elected to serve his first term as the Mayor of Abbotsford, and in October 2018, he was elected to serve his second term. He has served on the Abbotsford Police Board, the Economic Development Commission of the City of Abbotsford, the Abbotsford Airport Authority Board of Directors, the Trinity Western University School of Business Advisory Board, the Organized Crime Agency of B.C. Board of Directors, as well the Canada Place Corporation Board of Directors.

Lorenz Jessen
Regional Sales Manager, Bell Textron

Lorenz Jessen, based at Bell Textron Canada’s primary helicopter production facility in Mirabel, Quebec, holds more than 40 years of aviation-industry experience in a range of roles from engineering support, business development and sales. He has been with Bell since 1990 helping to grow the company’s commercial helicopter platform across Canada.

With Bell, Jessen has served as a Product Support Engineer supervisor for the company’s commercial team, helping to lead the development of the company’s intermediate and light-twin helicopters, including leading support for the Bell 429 program. More recently, Jessen has been instrumental in Bell’s market position with the 505 and 407 helicopter models in Canada, including it enhanced Jet Ranger X models and the recently introduced 407GXi.

Established in 1986, Bell Textron Canada produces the majority of commercial helicopter lines for the Fort Worth, Texas, company. The Mirabel facility has manufactured more than 5,000 aircraft for delivery worldwide. It has an internationally renowned expertise in airframe design, product development, flight testing, certification, final assembly, parts manufacturing in composite, customization and customer support.

Mark Baird
Program Manager, Flight Simulation, Conair Aerial Firefighting

Mark Baird joined Conair in the spring of 2016 after a 30-year career in military and commercial aviation. He has 12,000 hours of experience on different aircraft types, including Airbus A-330, A-340, the AVRO RJ85 and 20 years as a fighter pilot on the F-18 Hornet. His time on the F-18 included a combat tour in Iraq.

Mark also has an extensive background in training and checking. He is a graduate of the exclusive Fighter Weapons Instructors Course, Canada’s “Top Gun” and obtained a military A2 instructors rating. He has taught tactical mission execution to the United States Air Force, Royal Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force. His commercial experience was with Air Canada and Emirates airline as a training captain and Type Rating Instructor on Level D full flight simulators.

At Conair, Mark has flown three seasons as a heavy tanker pilot fighting fires in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. As the manager of Flight Standards, he is a Transport Canada Approved Check Pilot on the RJ85 and C208 Caravan. Mark is now the program manager for Conair’s new Aerial Firefighting Training and Tactics Centre, which will employ seven simulators to train the next generation of aerial firefighters.

Mike Sagely
Senior Pilot, Air Operations, Los Angeles County Fire Department

Mike Sagely is a Senior Pilot with Los Angeles County Fire Department, one of the largest public safety aviation organizations in the country. The County of Los Angeles spans 4,700 square miles from Catalina Island to the Mojave Desert serving over 10 million residents. Sagely is responsible for operating a multi-engine aircraft, single pilot, utilizing Night Vision Goggles conducting fire suppression, trauma transport and technical rescue. Additionally, he coordinates daily operational planning, training, and supervision of three duty aircraft and six crew members.

Sagely has over 34 years of aviation experience. His career began in 1986 as a Black Hawk pilot in the United States Army. During his 22 year military career he served as a Mission Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Flight Leader, Standardization Pilot, Mission Commander, and Squadron Safety Officer. His assignments included the 82nd Airborne Division Ft Bragg, NC, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Savannah, GA, and Flight Concepts Division Ft Eustis, VA. At the completion of his military career, Sagely had accumulated over 6,500 hours of helicopter and airplane time, 2,700 hours of Night Vision Goggles, and over 2,000 hours of combat flight in Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

In 2007, Sagely transitioned out of the Army and into the public safety profession serving with Santa Barbara County Fire Department. In 2009, he was hired with Los Angeles County Fire Department and promoted to Senior Pilot in 2011. Sagely holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics with a minor in Aviation Safety. His professional licenses include Airline Transport Pilot Rotorcraft-Helicopter, Airline Transport Pilot-Airplane Multi-engine land, Certified Flight Instructor with NVG endorsement privileges, and Certified Flight Instructor Instrument. He has accumulated over 10,000 flight hours and is qualified in over 30 different makes and models of helicopters and airplanes.

Rob Dyas
Vice President, Aviation, Babcock Canada

Rob Dyas completed a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2001, before graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as a British Army Officer. He trained as a helicopter pilot and flew numerous aircraft types across Europe and Africa including operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dyas started in the commercial helicopter industry flying Super Pumas on the UK North Sea in 2009 and joined Babcock in 2013 as its Chief Pilot. Dyas was subsequently appointed as the Operations Director and then the Managing Director (Accountable Executive) for Babcock’s Oil and Gas helicopter transportation and Search and Rescue business of 450 people across multiple sites in the UK.

Dyas currently holds the position of Vice President Aviation for Babcock Canada. He moved to Canada in January 2019 to lead the mobilization of the Aerial Fire Fighting contract that Babcock was awarded in Manitoba. His remit not only covers operating and growing Babcock’s civilian business but also its military one, where Babcock is proud to be a qualified supplier for the Future Aircrew Training program.



Abbotsford International Airport,
Airside Event Spaces | Abbotsford, BC

Accommodations – UPDATE

Our original hotel room booking has been filled. Please see below for additional rooms:


Sandman Hotel & Suites Abbotsford

32720 Simon Avenue, Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B8
Phone: 604 556 7263
Please mention Aviation Forum – Group # 174916 to book under our group rate of $135/night.


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Aerial Firefighting Conference
October 22 2020

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