NEW ARRIVAL: Outgoing chief executive officer Peter Friel (right) with incoming CEO Colin Fort at Gladstone Airport.
NEW ARRIVAL: Outgoing chief executive officer Peter Friel (right) with incoming CEO Colin Fort at Gladstone Airport. Matt Taylor GLA290518AIRP

Airport in safe hands with arrival of new CEO

OUTGOING Gladstone Airport Corporation chief executive officer Peter Friel anticipates a "seamless" transition for his successor Colin Fort.

Mr Friel is in his last week as airport boss after taking up the position in January 2017.

He's taken up an offer to become CEO of a Brisbane-based company with ties to the aviation industry, but will remain in Gladstone to work remotely.

"I've got my family here and they're all established and love the area as do I... I'll do a fair bit of travel," Mr Friel said.

"I feel very comfortable because I've got great staff coming in to take over. There was a bit of turmoil it could be said prior to me, but now with someone like Colin in place things will just continue on."

Mr Fort is no stranger to Gladstone Airport having been in the chief operating officer's role since July 2017.

 

New Gladstone Airport Chief Executive Officer Colin Fort.
Incoming Gladstone Airport Corporation chief executive officer Colin Fort. Matt Taylor GLA290518AIRP

It's because of this Mr Friel anticipates a smooth transition process between the pair, who have known each other for more than eight years.

"Col's got years of experience and has run airports for a long time so his (COO role) was probably the first time in a lot of years he wasn't the overall boss," he said.

"He's fully over what's happening with the airport and has been instrumental in some of the major projects that we're running now. He understands the board and the board feels very comfortable with him so the transition will be seamless."

Mr Fort begins his tenure from June 2 and expects to build from the foundations already laid by Mr Friel.

 

New Gladstone Airport Chief Executive Officer Colin Fort.
INCOMING: Colin Fort will take over as Gladstone Airport Corporation CEO on June 2. Matt Taylor GLA290518AIRP

"He's put in place a really good structure and the board we've got is based around a lot of local knowledge so they're aware of what we're up against in terms of the challenges of trying to maintain our market share," Mr Fort said.

"We're on the back of rising costs to operate and reducing revenues so we've got to maximise every dollar that we can.

"Being able to identify where there is opportunities and maximising that market share... We're working closely with GAPDL and the resource sector to support them.

"There's still a lot of opportunities in the area and we just need to identify those."