Halifax airline conference backtracks after claims of 9/11 insensitivity
An upcoming airline industry conference being held in Halifax on the anniversary of 9/11 has pulled an image on its website after an outcry on social media called it insensitive.
The 2015 Altitudes East Conference is scheduled for Sept. 10-11, and is being hosted by Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
An image that was until recently visible on the home page of the event’s website showed a plane flying out of the two Purdy Towers in Halifax.
“It took me right back to where I was when the news was on and the planes were hitting the towers in New York,” said Darren Morash, who sent the image along to CTV News.
Morash says he thought the image was a bad joke, and then he saw the date the airline industry conference is to be held.
"When you see the event is on September 11th, it makes it that much more alarming I think,” Morash said.
By Friday, the image had changed: the planes are now gone.
Airport spokesperson Peter Spurway issued a statement following its removal.
"Although the image has been in use for almost a year, it recently drew some attention on social media. We regret that some people found it insensitive. That certainly was not our intention,” he said.
“We appreciate them expressing their concerns. As a result of their intervention, the image was immediately changed.”
Morash says he gives them credit for responding quickly, but is surprised it wasn’t caught sooner.
"I don't think they need social media for them to know it doesn't look right,” he said.
NSCC business professor Ed McHugh agrees.
"I found it shocking. It jarred me a little bit — something that shouldn't have happened,” he said.
But, he says, lesson learned.
"When you make a bit of a faux pas like this one it can take off like that and the damage can be done in 12, 24 hours," McHugh said.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett