The Hawke's Bay Airport board has paid tribute to Chief Executive Nick Story, who passed away last night.
Mr Story had been ill for some time.
In a statement this afternoon, board chairman Tony Porter said the airport board and team was "deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Story".
"Nick led the airport through a period of record growth and profit over his four-year tenure. This includes bringing Jetstar to Hawke's Bay and expanding the vision as well as the services at the airport. "
"He was a great strategic thinker and a strong leader and was very well respected in the business community," Mr Porter said
"Nick always conducted himself with dignity and integrity and continued to work tirelessly after his diagnosis to ensure the Company is in a very strong position ahead of the Airport expansion project.
Mr Porter said: "On behalf of the Hawke's Bay Airport Board and the team, we want to express our sincere condolences to Nick's wife Melissa and his son Ben. Nick was a man of great mana, and he will be sorely missed by us all."
Mr Story was appointed Chief Executive at Hawke's Bay Airport in 2013. The Company has experienced record growth, (passenger numbers have increased by 43% and record profit to $1.7m, up 54%) while under his four-year leadership. Two additional Airlines, Jetstar, and Sounds Air have also started services from the Airport while he was at the helm.
Prior to his role at the Airport Company, Mr Story was the General Marketing Manager at Farmlands, Business Development Manager, Global Marketing & Strategy at Fonterra and Area Manager at Westpac.
Outside of his role at the airport, Mr Story was very involved in the local community serving as the President of the Hastings Karamu Rotary for some years. He was also on the Board of Centralines.