David Curtis will serve as chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada for the next year. The president and CEO of Viking Air was elected to chair the association’s board of directors during its annual aerospace summit this week. He succeeds Barry Kohler, president of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada.

In his outgoing address, Kohler noted the association’s success in areas around aerospace export and procurement and emphasized a commitment to helping small business, including establishing a small business forum at next year’s summit.

Curtis pledged to continue the work around small business and said he would seek to “leverage” the successes of the past four years by being more vocal during the next election campaign, leverage the clout of the government to open new markets for the Canadian sector, especially in China, and leverage the work of the association to ensure a national rather than regional voice on aerospace and space issues; he pointed to the creation of AIAC Pacific as an example of that.