Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) has appointed a qualified lawyer and aviation veteran as its new chief executive.
Colin Keel, who previously worked for American Airlines, Qantas and rail freight operator Aurizon, will take up his new position on June 1, Queenstown Airport said on Thursday.
In addition to his former roles, Keel is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an arts degree from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. While currently based in Australia, Keel has recently built a house in Queenstown and describes the city as a second home.
He replaces Scott Paterson, who died in September 2015 after a short battle with cancer. Mark Edghill has been acting chief executive since Patterson’s sad passing.
Keel was most recently an advisor on major infrastructure investments to international pension and superannuation funds.
“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead such a dynamic organisation and look forward to working with the QAC team and community to ensure we deliver value for the region and remain one of the most memorable flying experiences in the world,” Keel said in a statement.
Queenstown Airport chairman John Gilks said Keel was chosen after an international search.
“Colin brings more than 25 years of relevant experience in aviation and transport infrastructure to the role and will continue to lead our work in providing sustainable air connectivity and infrastructure and a world-class visitor experience that reflects the best of our region,” Gilks said in a statement.
“A big part of his role will be building strong relationships with our community and partners to ensure our airport developments are in line with future growth and aspirations.
“We sincerely thank Mark Edghill for his highly effective custodianship of the company since the untimely passing of Scott Paterson last year. We would also like to pay tribute to the QAC team for their hard work and dedication during a challenging time.”