The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has appointed one the government’s top aviation advisers to be its new chief executive.
Steven Campbell, who recently worked for the Deputy Prime Minister and Airservices, said he would draw on his “strong relationships within government” in the new role.
Campbell replaces a retiring Mike Higgins and the appointment comes alongside news that Sharp owner Malcolm Sharp will succeed Rex director Jim Davis as chairman.
The RAAA made the appointment as it faces new flight operation regulations coming into effect late next year.
“It is essential CASA gets the implementation right, our industry cannot afford otherwise, and I am keen to ensure the RAAA will be involved in working with the regulator to ensure there is a smooth transition,” said Campbell.
The new chief executive’s CV includes recent stints as a senior aviation adviser to the Deputy PM and Minister for Transport, Michael McCormack, and time as a government relations manager at Airservices Australia.
He previously spent three years working at CASA and 15 years as a check and training captain at Cathay Pacific.
New chairman Malcolm Sharp said the appointment meant the RAAA would have a “strong voice in Canberra” to ensure the government supports regional aviation.
“I’m also very excited to have Steve Campbell come on board, not only does he bring an incredible breadth of aviation experience, but his last seven years working in a number of government roles, including recently as the Deputy Prime Minister’s senior aviation adviser, gives us an all-round candidate as CEO,” said Sharp.
“I believe that with the vision we have for the organisation going forward, we have the right people in place to take the RAAA into the next phase and be a go to voice for the industry in Canberra.”
The RAAA currently has 100 members who employ more than 10,000 people.
Last month, the organisation called on the government to provide financial help to third-party providers such as flying schools, simulator centres and maintenance organisations.
The RAAA said there is an “immediate threat” to this “critical segment”, with many companies likely to close.
“Once gone these businesses will mostly not be replaced and even if they are it will take many years. CASA compliance and the infrastructure surrounding aviation businesses is very complicated and expensive,” said the statement.