Director of AeroProfessional Limited

Sam Sprules, has over 14 years’ experience in aviation recruitment and is currently a Director of AeroProfessional Limited.

In 2012, Sam decided to join his two former colleagues who in 2004 set out to establish AeroProfessional. His initial mandate as Business Manager at AeroProfessional was to build a team that could deliver to the existing strategies and manage the daily operations. His entrepreneurial spirit drove him to draw up a new list of objectives to establish additional competencies and service offerings to complement existing capabilities. As a result, in 2013, Sam was promoted to the Board of Directors.


Sam is now responsible for devising and implementing business strategy and coaching the growing AeroProfessional team to deliver key milestones and targets, focusing on catering to the demands of the industry and add value, whether it be for internal or external purposes.


In the future Sam wants to see AeroProfessional become the partner of choice for airlines and aviation organisations, and provide guidance with their people strategies. The company continues to build a team of professional consultants who are at the heart of the aviation industry, monitoring any changes affecting the industry from a labour or HR aspect, to offer the best possible advice to clients.

AeroProfessional is an international aviation recruitment specialist dedicated to delivering high-impact strategies and resourcing solutions in aviation. A key pillar of service offered by AeroProfessional is ‘Skills Research and Insight’, this knowledge is showcased in the presentation to be delivered by AeroProfessional Director, Sam Sprules.


The presentation will look at the aviation recruitment market  from the perspective of both industry growth and influencing factors. We aim to explore the current challenges in the market imposed  by the pilot skills shortage and how the talent pipeline can be nurtured, including a look into the digital advancements used in aviation recruitment strategies. Discover new employment strategies, demand vs supply, current trends and forecasts all in this single presentation.  


Deputy director general

Morgan Foulkes became Deputy Director General of the European Region of Airports Council International (ACI EUROPE) in January 2013. Morgan first joined ACI EUROPE in May 2007 as Director of Policy. In his current role, he leads the team of 6 policy managers and 1 research analyst, covering the full range of topics where EU regulation meets airports operations and wider air transport issues.

Morgan previously worked at UPS where he was Director EU Affairs with the Brussels-based Corporate Public Affairs Office of UPS, with responsibility for EU transport policy, international aviation and social affairs. Before that, Morgan was at the Bank of New York in Brussels and previously a trainee with the European Commission, Directorate General for Transport, Air Transport Policy Unit.


Morgan holds a Diploma in Air and Space Law from the Institute of Air & Space Law at McGill University. During his time at UPS, Morgan chaired the Transport and Energy Committee, of AMCHAM EU in Brussels and was also Member of the Board and Treasurer of the European Express Association (EEA).


Morgan is fluent in English and French with a working knowledge of Dutch. In his spare time he enjoys travelling, cycling, running, photography, scuba diving, theatre and any flight related activity.


I am experienced Airport senior manager with a demonstrated track record of working in the airport/aviation industry. Skilled in Airport Master planning, Crisis Management, Negotiation and Operations Management. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Master of Business (MBA) focused in International Business, Trade, and Tax Law.

At present, I'm working for SJSC “International airport “Riga”” as advisor of the board and honored to be CEO of Latvian Aviation Association.


My topic at the forum will be related to strategic planning of aviation industry in Latvia and research of aviation contribution to economic growth in general. It is notable, that the total contribution of the Latvian aviation industry to GDP in 2016 grew by 12.4% and now accounts for 2.6% of the country's GDP. For example, last year 44% of tourists arrived in Latvia by air. Besides, those arriving by air spent more per day (62 euros) than other guests (54 euros).

It is notable, that Latvia is increasingly integrating into the single European airspace. Growing statistics also demonstrate good connectivity with the rest of the world.


Route development director Liepaja airport

Gatis Ginters is Route development director at Liepaja Airport. Before joining Liepaja Airport, he was trade attaché at Latvian Embassy in Norway responsible for trade and investment promotion. Additionally, he stared his career in aviation joining Air Baltic in 2008 as Ground Operation manager in CIS countries and Middle East.

Mr. Ginters has wide-ranging international experience of multimodal transportation , marketing, sales and promotion strategy consultancy with a particular specialism in logistics, commodity, service exports and aviation.


Mr Ginters holds a master's degree in Business and entrepreneurship from Latvian Agriculture University and University degree in Transportation and Logistics from Latvian Maritime Academy and Netherlands Maritime University.


Chairman of the Board, LGS

Davids Taurins has obtained higher education in Laws at the University of Latvia and the State University of Tbilisi. He received his Doctor of Law Degree at the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

Mr.Taurins has been Chairman of the LGS Board since 2010. He is also a Chairman of the Board of the North European Functional Airspace Block (NEFAB) as well as Board Member of Borealis Alliance. In 2014-2015 Mr Taurins was elected Chairman of the EUROCONTROL Air Navigation Services Board (ANSB) which prepares decisions on behalf of air navigation stakeholders and aligns the business planning and budgetary processes at different levels in the Agency.


Before becoming LGS Chairman in 2010, Mr Taurins held a number of senior positions at Ministry of Finance: Deputy State Secretary on Tax Policy issues, Interim State Secretary and representative of the Ministry of Finance in Liepaja Special Economic Zone.


Mr.Taurins has a senior level management experience at different enterprises and banking sector. He was a Head of Secretariat and Legal Department at International Road Transport Organisation (IRTO) in Geneve.


Senior VP Flight Operations – airBaltic

Pauls Calitis is an experienced aviation professional with more than 20 years of experience in management and continues to maintain his Captain and Senior Examiner pilot qualifications. Pauls holds a Master of Business (MBA) focused on Aviation from the Concordia University.

In late 2016, airBaltic became the global launch operator of the brand new Bombardier CS300 aircraft. Now, more than a year later, Pauls, who has been deeply involved in the introduction of the CS300 on airBaltic fleet, will look back at the first year of commercial operations of the aircraft. By now, there are already eight CS300 in the airBaltic fleet, with more to come!


The SESAR project plays an important role in strengthening the European aviation sector through the modernisation of air traffic management (ATM). With the 10 year advent of the SESAR Joint Undertaking in 2017, our transition to SESAR 2020, as well as the establishment of the SESAR Deployment, we now have a coherent value chain to define, develop and deploy new technologies that can contribute to this modernisation endeavour. This value chain is delivering real operational and technological solutions for air traffic management

In the SJU I am working in the ATM Master Planning team and  our job is to bridge what we do in SESAR in Research and development phase with SESAR deployment phase and ATM Master Plan is the main tool of this. My main task in the team is to facilitate  bilateral relationship with EASA and National Authorities , to involve them in the programme where necessary, as well keep them informed about the latest R&D developments. I am also involved in safety part of the programme and particularly on Safety reference Material development and alignment with EASA regulatory framework. In my position in Latvian CAA I was responsible for  charging issues, performance scheme development and coordination of Latvian positions within EU  ones, I was involved in the work of Single Sky Committee and Enlarged Committee for Route charges. I was also involved in all activities related to NSA cooperation with NEFAB and represented  LV CAA in NEFAB NSA Committee.  I have  MBA  from the University of Birmingham , UK and Masters degree in International economics and business  from the University of Latvia  and Master degree in  Political Science: International relations from  the University of Latvia


Chairman of the Supervisory Board, State Joint Stock Company “Riga International Airport”

Acting Rector, “Transport and Telecommunication Institute” (Riga, Latvia)

Juris Kanels has obtained degree in Economics at the University of Latvia. Since 2004 he has extensive more than 10 years long personal experience in planning, supervising and day-to-day management of work of different companies from aviation sector. Mr. J. Kanels also has an experience of diplomatic work including at the status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Head of the Mission. He has good knowledge in various aspects of European integration and a broad competence on a wide range of the EU policies (Enlargement policy, Transport policy, Regional and local development policy, State aid policy).

Mr. Juris Kanels is an author of the book “Way of Latvia to the European Union” and co-author of the book “What Do Latvian Entrepreneurs Need to Know about the European Union?”. Besides this he has more than 20 publications in periodicals and brochures on Latvia’s international relations, European Union integration and economic policy issues.


Previously he was a member of Airports Council International (ACI) European region Technical & Operational Safety Committee and member of the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA). Since March 2016 he is a member of the Supervisory Board of Aviation Association of Latvia.

With many years senior management experience in scheduled airlines, aviation consulting and data John is a Partner of MIDAS Aviation a UK based aviation consultancy. With consultancy experience across many global markets and having worked with key stakeholders in developing new airline services in both legacy and low-cost segments his experience is widely sought after by clients around the globe. A regular industry speaker and advisor for the BBC, John has been working in China for many years and developed a close understanding of the market, regulatory frameworks and locally based airlines that are driving China towards the largest market in the world.

EU - China, creating the secondary market opportunities.


With China destined to be the largest single aviation market by 2012 and rapid growth in services to Europe over the last five years how does the future look for secondary cities in Europe. Are such opportunities limited, who will be the winners and why and most importantly how can European markets create sustainable environments for successful development. How will new aircraft technology, emergent airlines in the long-haul, low-cost sector and regulatory changes impact opportunities and what does that mean for markets such as Riga?


China is both potentially lucrative and challenging and we will be sharing insights on how to be best prepared for services from the biggest market in the world and how that can be used to Riga's advantage.


Partner and Managing Director at BCG, Global Leader of the Travel & Tourism Practice

Nicolas Boutin is the global head of The Boston Consulting Group's Transportation, Travel & Tourism practice area which covers air transportation, railways, lodging, the cruise sector, transportation infrastructure, and travel distribution companies. 

Nicolas joined The Boston Consulting Group in Paris in 2003 as a Consultant and transferred to Moscow in 2012. He works with a range of clients, including airlines (network carriers, low-cost carriers, and cargo), airports, travel distribution companies, and aerospace OEMs. His experience includes strategy development and execution, digital transformation, organization, cost optimization, M&A, and evaluation of new business opportunities.


Prior to joining BCG, Nicolas worked for two years at Cambridge Technology Partners in Geneva as a Senior Manager in the Digital Business Strategy Practice and for six years at the Airbus Group where he held several technical and commercial positions.

Ilja Podkolzins

Accountable manager of Airline Suport Baltics

Ilja Podkolzins started to work in Aviation Industry as avionic military engineer.

After the end of military service, he worked as the manager in the sphere of finance, productions and construction. From 2001 till 2008 - Head of development department in the Daugavpils City Consul, the representative of the Latvian Ministry of Economics in the Russian Federation, CIS countries project manager in the Investments and Development Agency of Latvia .


In 2008 he returned to aviation as the head of the investment project "Development of the MRO center in the International airport Riga", since 2010 the commercial pilot, 2014 СЕО & Accuntable Manager Airline Support Sweden, MRO in ARN, then Airline Support Baltic , MRO in RIX.


“My topic at the forum will be related with comparative analysis of relocation of MRO business from Sweden to Latvia and develpment trends of MRO business in Baltics”.

Dmitri Mirgorodsky

CEO of RusLine airline

Dmitri Mirgorodsky is the CEO of RusLine airline and serves as a board member on other subsidiaries of the group.

Dmitri has over 25 years of experience in the airline and aerospace sector at major airlines, service organizations, aircraft manufacturers and consultancy. This includes over 15 years as the Board Member, VP/GM and airline CEO/COO in various projects backed by international investors. For many years Dmitri speaks regularly at various international airline, aerospace, marketing and project management conferences and TV/radio shows in Europe, Asia and USA.


At this conference Dmirti will share his views on development of sustainable business on regional routes between various European regions and Russia in current environment, on how airline partnership could add effectiveness, as well as the way how combination of subsidized and purely commercial routes adds synergy to the business.

Ilmārs Ozols

Board member of Latvian Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

Ilmars Ozols represents Latvian Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (LARPAS) - non-profit organization with the goal to bring together, coordinate and provide support to different stakeholders - RPAS operators, recreational users, manufacturers, insurers, training organizations, research and development centres, as well as rulemaking and enforcement authorities, in order to promote safe and responsible use of RPAS and overall development of this sector.

He has more than 5 years of experience in working with unmanned aircraft systems as engineer, remote pilot and instructor. He is the Latvian representative on the International RPAS Coordination Council and a non-executive member of the UVS International Board of Directors. 

Jason Lloyd Sinclair

Manager, Regional Affairs and Communications, Europe

Jason Sinclair is part of the Regional Affairs Europe team for IATA, the trade association whose 280 member airlines transport more than 83% of total air traffic. He is part of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals which proactively pursue IATA’s industry priorities with governmental authorities and industry stakeholders to make the air transport industry more efficient, secure and profitable.

Jason joined IATA in 2014 in the Americas Regional Office in Miami, Florida where he was responsible for communications for Latin America and the Caribbean. Before joining IATA Jason led communications for diverse companies and organizations and also covered aviation and other industries for Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal and Spain’s El País newspaper.


Fluent in Spanish and English, Jason has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and a Master’s degree in Journalism and Communication from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


© 2019 by Dienas Bizness Conference.  For Questions /  Contact us at

  • Grey Facebook Icon