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ADS Beacon Awards: Taking leadership to new heights

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“Great leaders are those who have a vision for success, and who can then implement the right systems and procedures to motivate and guide their teams to reach that goal. Within their own teams as well as their industries, many of our best clients know exactly what it takes to lead.”  — Derek Sullivan, VP, Atlantic DataSystems

For over 75 years, the St. John’s International Airport Authority (SJIAA) has been the gateway to St. John’s. Whether departing for a worldly adventure or arriving to explore our historic region, the SJIAA has always been a place of excitement. As a key player in the Newfoundland and Labrador economy, the SJIAA has been both forward-thinking and determined to better connect the province with the rest of the world. Over the past year, the SJIAA has seen remarkable growth and development. Atlantic DataSystems therefore recognizes the St. John’s International Airport Authority as the recipient of the ADS Beacon Award for Leadership.

Soaring to new heights

The SJIAA is a staple of Newfoundland and Labrador.

When the SJIAA first opened in the 1940s, it was a modest building located in Torbay, serving primarily military purposes. Now, every year, it grows bigger and bigger — passenger volume alone has doubled in 15 years, from 800,000 people in 1999 to 1.6 million in 2014.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador itself is constantly growing, and in turn the SJIAA has recognized the need to accommodate and anticipate future growth. As a result, the SJIAA has leapt forward to implement a robust expansion and improvement strategy, Expansion YYT.

Expansion YYT comprises renovations, new marketing strategies, partnerships, and, of course, technological developments. The SJIAA has recently completed The East Expansion (Departures) portion of the plan, with the addition of five new food, beverage, and retail outlets including:

These new services will allow travellers to enjoy comforts and amenities after security, before jetting off to their next destination.

Tech takes flight

This growth-focused organization requires significant technological investment and planning, as well as a broad strategy to support the extension of technology throughout it. The result has had a tremendous impact on the customers of the SJIAA. The SJIAA is well-known for embracing technology to improve service. In 2017, the SJIAA installed the Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) to help flights land during foggy weather — a daily occurrence in St. John’s. As CBC news reported, “[a]n estimated 920 flights that would have been cancelled due to foggy conditions were able to land or take off in the first year since the installation of new landing equipment.”

Behind the scenes, the SJIAA has made other strategic investments in Sage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. These less well-known systems are the foundation for growth, helping to streamline business activities and lead to a more efficient and improved experience for both staff and customers.

©David Howells 2013

“The St. John’s International Airport Authority is committed to delivering an outstanding airport experience to all travellers and guests — whether landing in St. John’s, welcoming loved ones, or starting your next adventure. Streamlining our work with Sage and making the SJIAA more efficient have been our ultimate goals. We would like to thank Atlantic DataSystems for recognizing us as leaders in the region and for their continued partnership. We truly aim to make our province a place of international acclaim and look forward to what the future will bring.” — Laura Cooper, CFO, the St. John’s International Airport Authority

Flying into to the future

When you are an industry leader, there is little time to pause. Work on Phase Two, The West Expansion (Arrivals), will commence in early 2019 with further expansion to the Departures and Air Canada lounges, additional gates and baggage carousels, and larger customs and ground transport areas. Once all the renovations are complete in 2022, the Airport Terminal Building will be approximately 420,000 square feet — nearly tripling in size.

The SJIAA has been revamped from the inside out. (Photo courtesy the SJIAA)

“The SJIAA is one of our most progressive clients. They are growth-oriented, tech-savvy, and show true leadership. The airport has grown from humble beginnings and continues to make a huge impact on the provincial economy. We feel the SJIAA is more than a client – they are something the entire region can be proud of. We thoroughly enjoy being part of their journey and applaud them for raising the bar for leadership in Atlantic Canada!- Terri Reid, Atlantic DataSystems


Operating in an industry where quality, reliability, and safety are paramount, the SJIAA has shown that they are true leaders in Atlantic Canada. Stay on top of the latest updates from the SJIAA as they continue to expand by checking out their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Once again, the ADS team wishes to congratulate the St. John’s International Airport Authority for their continued success, and we thank them for their patronage.




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