Fort McMurray’s RJ Steenstra Becomes Chair of CAC Policy Council, Kelowna International’s Sam Samaddar Becomes Chair of Airports Council



January 4, 2022

The Canadian Airports Council has a new leadership team, effective January 1, 2022.  RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority, becomes Chair of the Canadian Policy Council (CPC) and a member of ACI-NA’s Executive Committee.

Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, will become the Vice Chair of the CPC. Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal, will become Chair of the Large Airports Caucus.  Gene Cabral, Executive Vice-President of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, will become the Chair of the Small Airports Caucus.  Reg Wright, President and CEO of the Gander International Airport Authority, will join the CPC.

“We have faced unprecedented challenges over the past two years,” says Steenstra,  “but, thanks to our team in Ottawa and members of the CPC, we continue to push through and move forward. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our outgoing Chair, Joyce Carter who kept us focused and united throughout our discussions with government.

“The upcoming year will be another challenging one for Canadian airports, but we’re optimistic and continue to work towards a bright future for our industry.” says Steenstra.

Prior to this appointment, Steenstra has been an active member of the association’s CPC, holding several positions, most recently Vice-Chair. Steenstra’s industry contributions have also included serving as Director for the American Association of Airport Executives – NW Chapter, Director of the International Civil Aviation Organization and Airports Council International (ACI) – World, Community of Practice and Vice Chair for the International Association of Airport Executives Canada.

As well as Steenstra’s appointment, Kelowna International Airport Director Sam Samaddar became Chair of Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) on January 1, 2022. Samaddar was elected to the position in November 2021 and succeeds outgoing Chair Lew S. Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority.

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About the Canadian Airports Counci

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), a division of Airports Council International-North America, is the voice for Canada’s airports community. Its 56 members represent more than 100 airports, including all of the privately operated National Airports System (NAS) airports and many municipal airports.

Canada’s locally managed and not for profit airports are essential community assets.  In 2019, they supported 194,000 direct jobs, contributed $19 billion to GDP and $48 billion in direct economic outputs. They also remitted $6.9 billion in taxes to municipal, provincial and federal governments.


For more information, please contact:

Debra Ward

Canadian Airports Council

613 850 9118