Colin Keel appointed new airport CEO

Colin Keel 1

Queenstown Airport Corporation’s (QAC) Board of Directors today announced that it has appointed aviation and transport infrastructure specialist Colin Keel as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Board Chairman John Gilks said that Mr Keel was chosen following an international search which attracted a significant number of high calibre candidates both locally and from abroad.

“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. 

“Colin currently lives in Australia and has had a close involvement with Queenstown for a number of years.  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,” says Mr Gilks.

Originally from the United States, Colin Keel’s experience includes senior management roles at American Airlines, Qantas and Aurizon.  Most recently, while based in Sydney, he was an advisor to several international pension and superannuation funds on major infrastructure investments.

Mr Keel has a Law Degree (Juris Doctor) from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours ) from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.  He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has participated in the Harvard Leadership Programme.

Mr Keel and his partner made Queenstown their second home several years ago and recently built a house in the suburb of Fernhill.  As a frequent visitor, he has also had the opportunity to experience Queenstown Airport from a customer perspective.

“This region is one of the most stunning places in the world and flying in and out of Queenstown Airport is an amazing experience in itself. 

“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.”

Mr Keel will be relocating to Queenstown in advance of commencing his new role on 1 June 2016.

On behalf of the QAC Board, Mr Gilks thanked and acknowledged the support of Acting CEO Mark Edghill and the wider team during the transition period.

“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,” Mr Gilks says.