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Moose Jaw woman becomes first female chair of Regina Airport Authority

Trish Martynook has served on the board of the Regina Airport Authority (RAA) since 2014 and recently became the first female Chair of the RAA board, as well as the first chair from the City of Moose Jaw.
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Trish Martynook

Trish Martynook has served on the board of the Regina Airport Authority (RAA) since 2014 and recently became the first female Chair of the RAA board, as well as the first chair from the City of Moose Jaw.

“I attended the Regina Airport Authority AGM where past chair Trent Fraser passed this responsibility on to Trish, who has ably represented Moose Jaw and served as a Board member for eight years,” said Moose Jaw Mayor Clive Tolley. “The City of Moose Jaw is extremely proud that our own Trish Martynook has been appointed chair of the Regina Airport Authority.”

Martynook has served on the RAA since 2014. She was re-appointed by the City of Moose Jaw in March 2020 for her final three-year term. Each board member is eligible to serve a maximum of nine years — Martynook will step down in spring, 2023.

“I feel encouraged, I think that it’s evidence that there is room for women at the board table,” Martynook told MooseJawToday.com. “I think research informs us that organizations and groups with diverse boards and leadership perform better than those that don’t have diversity. And they leave talent on the table as a result.”

“Congratulations to Trish,” said James Bogusz, President and CEO, Regina Airport Authority in the June 15 news release. “We look forward to working together on the great success of YQR, the 15th busiest airport in Canada, and know that (her) expertise and experience will continue to be of tremendous benefit to all of Southern Saskatchewan.”

The RAA is a not-for-profit that operates the airport under lease from the federal government. The board’s only employee is Bogusz, who is responsible for the day-to-day management.

“The board oversees the operations of the airport,” Martynook said. “Our job as a board is to hire a CEO, and then provide oversight. It’s a noses-in, fingers-out relationship.”

Regina International Airport (YQR) is the 15th busiest airport in Canada. However, its losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating. Martynook’s appointment comes at a crucial time, as YQR seeks to recover its economic prominence.

“Pre-COVID, the airport generated about $800 million a year in local economic activity,” Martynook explained. “We took an extreme hit. We were down over 90 per cent of our passenger traffic. So, we lost that, along with all of the associated revenue.”

The airport recently welcomed Swoop, a Canadian ultra-low-cost airline owned by WestJet. Swoop began operations in 2018.

“Probably that’s the most significant thing we’re doing,” Martynook continued, speaking about rebuilding the airport’s passenger count. Another immediate goal is to regain the full transborder flight capacity of YQR, which the airport lost several years ago.

“It’s helping that the government has lifted these travelling restrictions. We spent a lot of time and money doing a lot of advertising and media work, trying to keep the public informed in terms of ever-changing rules when it came to COVID protocols.”

Although her responsibility is to the entire area served by YQR rather than any specific municipality, Martynook said that the success of the airport overlaps with the success of Moose Jaw. She’s looking forward to being part of its post-pandemic growth.