Mad fisherman takes top job as CEO for Gladstone Airport

PETER Friel chased bad guys in New South Wales, was into software in Cairns and will now be Gladstone Airport Corporations new chief executive officer.

The 46-year-old father of two was appointed as the new Gladstone airport CEO on Thursday replacing interim CEO Terry Dowler, who was also keen to take the permanent position.

The position was made vacant when former CEO Phillip Cash resigned in May.

The airport board released a statement at the time that read, "Mr Cash is a highly experienced airport manager who has made a significant contribution to the airport both in terms of its facilities and operations during the four years in which he fulfilled that role".

"We wish him well for the future," it went on to say.

Despite his previous careers in the police force and information technology, Mr Friel also has plenty of experience.

He has been working in airport management roles for about 12 years around Australia from Cape York to Tasmania.

He has been spending the past two years with his wife and two children in Devenport, Tasmania, and was looking forward to moving to Gladstone's warming climate in January.

"My wife is a Queenslander from Cairns, I have a boy who is 10 and a girl who is seven," he said.

He said after years in Tasmania he was trying to persuade his son away from Aussie Rules to rugby league with a North Queensland Cowboys jersey he bought recently.

"I have been to Gladstone a few times and I love the areas like Tannum Sands," he said. "When I was in Cape York I was a mad fisherman and I would love to get back into that.

"My family and wife are very active and we want to have strong relationships with the local community."

While at work he will focus on consolidating operations with Gladstone Airport Corporation releasing a statement that read, "Mr Friel's appointment ushers in a phase of consolidation at Gladstone after what had been a period of significant investment associated with the construction phase of the region's LNG industry".

"With the focus now shifting to catering for organic growth in the region, the priority for the new CEO will be on improving service delivery and the customer experience at Gladstone Airport," it read.