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Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute

Institut aéronautique et spatial du Canada

december 23, 2020

Hello CASI members and friends.

I think most of us will be glad to see 2020 receding in the rear-view mirror. Prospects for a near-term ‘return to normal’ in 2021 are not promising, and sustained patience will be required of us all to bring the pandemic under control.

Meanwhile CASI will continue to serve your interests in a ‘virtual’ way by offering on-line programs that cater to your needs and celebrate your accomplishments. We have developed programs that will give a podium to presenting participants and provide opportunities for elevated visibility to our Corporate Partners and sponsoring organizations. Our Branch meetings will be accessible to all and our AERO’21 and ASTRO’21 conferences will be offered as usual, albeit in a virtual format. We will present a number of additional events that we hope will engage and inform you – please stay tuned!

Our best wishes for a relaxing and safe Holiday break, and for better days to come in 2021.

From your CASI HQ staff - April Duffy, Todd Legault and Geoff Languedoc

July 24, 2020

Hello CASI members.

As a nation, Canadians have endured a lengthy shutdown of activities in support of our collective efforts to mitigate the spread, severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Ontario – and in Ottawa specifically – constraints have been quite stringent, not least in that our places of work have been deemed generally off-limits. CASI staff have been operating from home, albeit with some limitations such as internet speed and bandwidth, file and data access, home-related interruptions (children, pets, power outages) and so on. Most of Ontario entered ‘stage 3’ on July 20 meaning that offices are permitted to re-open. However the number of new cases has been increasing in recent days, and it is prudent for CASI HQ staff to continue to work from home for now. Following our regular two-week summer shutdown from July 27 through August 7, we will assess the COVID-19 situation regularly from the standpoint of resuming work at the office.

Earlier this year we were obliged to cancel both of our in-person conferences. The 23rd AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, a collaboration with our US sister society, was to be held in Montreal during the second week of March. We had to cancel the conference just a few days before it was to begin, as it proved be on the threshold of the COVID-19 shutdown. The time-sensitive and international nature of this conference meant that outright cancellation (rather than postponement or rescheduling) was the only option.

ASTRO 2020 was planned for mid-May in Toronto, but it too was a victim of the embargo on face-to-face gatherings. However in this case we are developing a series of on-line sessions consisting of content that would have been part of the ASTRO 2020 conference. Already scheduled are two events: a Space Domain Awareness Workshop on Tuesday November 5, and a Space Situational Awareness technical session a week later on November 12. Both events will be presented from 13:00-16:00 EDT

As for next year we have secured first refusal on suitable dates, meeting space and bedrooms for both AERO 2021 and ASTRO 2021 at the Westin Toronto Airport Hotel during May and June respectively. Hopefully regulations will permit, and participants will feel safe enough to embrace, the opportunity for normal on-site conferences.

Since the shut-down CASI has held a number of virtual events including an Ottawa Branch meeting and several committee meetings. We also organized and hosted a Canadian Space Agency webinar on the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program. Regarding the timing of future virtual events, the input we received was to hold off during the July-August timeframe, so we will resume scheduling virtual gatherings in September.

From a governance standpoint, your Council met in January and was to meet next during ASTRO 2020 for the convenience of CASI members who were attending our annual conference. The shutdown precluded this arrangement, taking with it the 2020 CASI Annual General Meeting for good measure that also was to have been held during the conference. The plan now is to schedule the AGM and Council meetings during September.

Our Senior Awards program also has been impacted. Acknowledgment in a virtual environment is not a satisfactory alternative to celebrating the outstanding accomplishments of the recipients with their family, friends and associates together over a luncheon or dinner. We hope that meeting restrictions will be relaxed soon such that an appropriate occasion can be organized.

Aerospace has been hit especially hard by the pandemic and the situation grows more dire by the day. Meanwhile, inescapably, each of us has a part to play in the delicate balancing act between successful virus mitigation and resumption of our lives. At CASI we are committed to doing everything we can to support our members during this extremely difficult and uncertain time. If you have any ideas about how we can be more helpful to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. If you know of opportunities of any kind in your organization or within the broader community in Canada and internationally, let us know so that we can pass along the message.

Stay safe, and keep in touch.

Warm regards to all,

Geoffrey Languedoc CAE

Executive Director/Directeur exécutif

Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute/Institut aéronautique et spatial du Canada

May 8, 2020

CASI is Canada’s preeminent aerospace association. As a membership-based organization we are committed to meeting the needs of our members – individual and corporate – with all the resources at our disposal.

The shutdown of nearly every aspect of activity in Canadian society has hit aerospace particularly hard. The dramatic slowdown in the sector has resulted in a significant number of employee layoffs – some hopefully will be temporary, others unfortunately are likely to be permanent.

Listen to the SpaceQ podcast on how CASI is adapting in the times of COVID-19.

We would like to draw your attention to several ways that CASI can assist our Members and Corporate Partners to weather this painful period:

  • If you are an individual CASI Member or an employee of a CASI Corporate Partner, and you are seeking employment, we invite you to post your resume on our secure Members Only Employment Candidates website. While many organizations in the sector are downsizing, there are others who are either actively hiring or preparing to do so. We will do everything we can to alert the Canadian aerospace community to your skills, interests and availability.
  • Our Corporate Partners have communications that need to get the widest possible distribution. Please contact CASI if you would like to take advantage of our reach in getting your message out.
  • CASI Members also have access to CASI Connect. This is a benefit of membership that brings together young people active in aerospace who have a specific technical question or challenge, with experienced professional volunteers whose background and skill sets may provide an answer.
  • CASI recently has implemented a business-level version of ZOOM Videoconferenceing. During this time when we cannot meet face-to-face, we can still bring people together to share a common interest. CASI is currently shaping a series of one- to two-hour programs that will be free for CASI Members to attend. These programs will be offered for sponsorship preferentially to our Corporate Partners. The urgent issue of employment will be addressed in an early broadcast that will cover federal, provincial and regional support for Canadians who are out of work. As well there may be employment opportunities to include.
  • We have also recently added a new feature to our Conference & Events menu called Virtual Events, which includes CASI Live where we will be scheduling Live Videoconferencing for Branch Meetings and other events, as well as CASI Podcasts which will feature prerecorded events so that members can keep informed of how we continue to serve.

We urge you to contact us with any other ways that you think we can help.

Sincere regards,

Geoffrey Languedoc CAE

Executive Director/Directeur exécutif

Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute/Institut aéronautique et spatial du Canada

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