Whanganui Airport's manager Allan MacGibbon has received a top award at the New Zealand Airport Association Conference held in Nelson last week.

The New Zealand Airport Association bestowed the award on Mr MacGibbon in recognition of his passion and tenacity in representing the interests of regional airports throughout the country.

The award was in recognition of his "commitment to New Zealand airports and to Whanganui Airport.

"He is a high-energy individual, a mentor for newcomers to the sector, and is well known for his good humour and costumes at the annual conference dinners, often picking up the prize for best-dressed" the citation said.

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Mr MacGibbon is thrilled that his efforts have been recognised by the association.
He also stressed some of the challenges that small airports currently face and the Airport Association's role in tackling these challenges.

"I'm both chuffed and humbled with the award. I have worked hard for regional airports and the effort is bearing fruit. But more importantly is the plight of regional airports and the level of support we get from the big boys - Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch international airports.

It's really tough for smaller regional airports like ours, as we have to comply with the same costly regulations as the bigger airports with only a fraction of the resources.

"A big part of the association's role is the promotion of the idea of all of these individually-owned, and often under-resourced, airports forming a vital communications and economic network as a way of tackling some of these issues."

Mayor Annette Main congratulated Mr MacGibbon on his achievement.

"We have an excellent airport facility here in Whanganui, made even better through our partnership with Air Chathams. This is evident in the many positive comments that I receive from visitors who pass through out airport's doors. Much of this is a result of Allan's hard work. His Personality of the Year Award is both fitting and well deserved."

Mr MacGibbon has been on the board of the Airport Association since its formation in 2008.

He will be retiring from his position as Whanganui Airport Manager next year.