Acting chief executive appointed for airport

An acting chief executive has been appointed to the Rotorua Regional Airport until a permanent replacement is found for outgoing chief executive Alastair Rhodes.

Wayne Wootton has accepted the role of acting chief executive at the airport and took up the new position on Monday.

Mr Rhodes will remain as chief executive until his departure, however after the first week of handover, Mr Wootton will take over all primary airport responsibilities while Mr Rhodes will move into a supporting role and concentrate on tidying up key projects for the Rotorua Airport board.

A recruitment process to fill the permanent position will begin early in the New Year.

Mr Wootton has a background in civil engineering, with a 30-year career in the United Kingdom before moving to New Zealand in 2006. He was most recently the commercial manager at Hawke’s Bay Airport and was also a director on the Executive Committee of the New Zealand Airports Association.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue on with Alastair’s good work over the past two years, particularly the changing focus to boost domestic networks and further development of the integrated air transport and infrastructure plan for the Bay of Plenty,” he said.

“I will be looking at ways of generating additional revenue, particularly from the non-aeronautical aspects of the business, and reviewing the business strategy. I will also be working closely with the airport’s major customer, Air New Zealand.”

Outgoing chief executive, Mr Rhodes will take up a newly created position of chief executive of BayTrust, a large community trust set up in order to help build, strengthen and enhance present and future Bay of Plenty communities.

Under Mr Rhodes’ leadership, the airport has seen a number of changes: the commencement of larger Q300 flights on the Rotorua – Auckland route, the Airport Open Day, involvement in a number of community projects such as the school mural project, upgraded parking facilities, the announcement that levy fees would be absorbed into landing and the cessation of the Rotorua-Sydney flights from April this year.