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Experienced aviation professional Daniel Debono appointed Wanaka Airport Operations Manager

August 15, 2017 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email

Experienced airport and aviation professional Daniel Debono will join the Wanaka Airport team early in 2018 as Operations Manager, following an Australasia-wide recruitment process for the role.

Daniel has worked in the aviation industry his whole career and has a solid understanding of general aviation, airport infrastructure, operations, the Civil Aviation Act, associated Civil Aviation Rules and Health and Safety Legislation.

Originally from Dunedin, Daniel is no stranger to the Southern Lakes region having worked and holidayed in Queenstown and Wanaka for many years after he graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Aviation Management.

Daniel initially joined the Queenstown Airport team in 2006 and after stints in both airside and operations roles, he joined Wellington Airport asManager Airfield and Airport Fire Service in 2011. 

Daniel was responsible for Wellington International Airport’s airfield operations and Airport Fire Service, leading a team of 30 staff across the 24/7 operation.

Daniel will leave his current role as GM ‎Infrastructure and Service Delivery at Dunedin Airport later this year and join the Wanaka Airport team in early January 2018.

Queenstown Airport GM Operations and Safety Mike Clay said Daniel was “a strong aviation professional and a great fit for Wanaka Airport”.

“Daniel has a broad aviation skillset and has spent his entire working life in aviation. Luckily for us the call of Central Otago was too strong and we are very fortunate to have Daniel on-board to lead the team in Wanaka,” said Mike.

“Daniel’s extensive knowledge of general and scheduled aviation operations and airport infrastructure, plus his personality and leadership attributes, complete the strong and experienced team we have on-board team to assist QAC to grow and develop Wanaka Airport to its full potential.”

Daniel joins the current Wanaka Airport team which consists of Caroline Dumas, Operations and Compliance Coordinator, Ralph Fegan, Facilities and Maintenance Manager, and Naomi Lindsay, Communications Executive.

Speaking of his new role, Daniel said: “Having started my own aviation journey in general aviation, completing my private pilot’s license in 2003, I fully understand and respect the connection between both these parts of the aviation ecosystem.”

“The future of Wanaka Airport is exciting and full of potential and I’m looking forward to becoming part of the Wanaka community, reconnecting with old friends and aviation industry peers. It’s a special community that I feel privileged to be able to join again.”  

“From a personal perspective, the move to Wanaka offers my wife and I the ability to realise our dream of building a passive house with a small permaculture orchard attached in a part of the world that we love. Being an avid kayaker, tramper and skier I’m also really excited at the thought of having a lake and national park right at my doorstep again.”

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