Chief, Industry Affairs
Council Member since 2017
Leo Knaapen is an experienced leader and an influential force in his representation of Bombardier across civil aviation. As Manager of Industry Affairs, he is responsible for strengthening Bombardier’s global contributions by engaging, supporting and guiding its involvement in industry associations, regulatory and government agencies through working groups and committees, speaker opportunities, events and sponsorships.
Mr. Knaapen began his career in aerospace at Pratt & Whitney Canada in 1985. He joined Bombardier Aerospace in 1989, and in 1992 was named spokesperson for Bombardier’s Canadair division. In 1997, Leo Knaapen assumed responsibility for media and public relations at Bombardier Business Aircraft. In this role, he led the team responsible for communications on a complete range of products including Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets, pre-owned aircraft, Skyjet International charter, special mission aircraft, and customer support and services.
In 2007, he assumed leadership of Bombardier’s industry affairs portfolio, and has been instrumental in heightening Bombardier’s overall profile within the industry. He has increased the involvement of Bombardier Business Aircraft in key business and general aviation portfolios including safety, environment and air navigation, and has also guided Bombardier’s overall engagement with international civil aviation organizations.
Mr. Knaapen currently serves as Chair of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA). He is a member of the Bombardier Safety Standdown Advisory Council and also supported the development of the Safety Management Systems involving Design and Manufacturing for ICAO Annex 19. He is the Bombardier representative on the Board of Directors of Geneva-based Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and sits on the Board of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in Washington, D.C.