Newly-appointed Hawke's Bay Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie says the airport can look forward to "an exciting new era of growth".

Ainslie has over 16 years' experience in public and privately-owned hub and regional airports in the United Kingdom, Australia and Papua New Guinea. His most recent role was as executive general manager for Port Moresby International Airport, the main gateway into PNG, where he provided leadership for the successful opening of a major terminal expansion in time for the 2015 Pacific Games and operational preparedness for Apec 2018.

Prior to that, he was the operations director for Northern Territory Airports based in Darwin, providing leadership for their major terminal development.

He has also worked in senior management positions in Edinburgh Airport and London Gatwick Airports for the British Airport Authority (BAA) formerly the UK's leading airports owner and operator, now Heathrow Airport Holdings.


Hawke's Bay Airport board chairman Tony Porter said he was delighted to have found someone to fulfill the vision for the airport.

"The airport company is in great shape thanks to the leadership of our previous chief executive Nick Story. We're delighted to have someone of Ainslie's calibre join our team and continue to fulfill the vision for the airport and also add his expertise to ensure Hawke's Bay Airport continues to flourish as the gateway to the region.

"We had an incredibly high calibre of applicants from all over the world, and the appointment process has been very robust. Ainslie brings a great wealth of knowledge having worked at a number of International airports, with many years of senior leadership experience predominantly focused on airports, facilities, and infrastructure including a number of years running his own aviation-related consultancy.

"He's also a professionally qualified engineer. We feel his skill set will be invaluable at this pivotal growth stage of the airport."

Ainslie said he was pleased to be given the leadership opportunity to drive the strategic direction forward for Hawke's Bay Airport, which was already a strong foundation.

"It will be an exciting new era of growth, infrastructure development and servicing to the wider area.

"Having worked in the industry for almost two decades, I understand all facets of how airports work from both a commercial and operational perspective. I'm passionate about transformation, getting the best out of people and excited about working with the broader community to further develop future prospects for the Hawke's Bay Region."

Originally born in Dunfermline, Scotland, Ainslie and his family in 2006 moved from London to Australia where they have lived for just under 12 years.

Ainslie and his wife Elaine have three children, the youngest 17, and will move to Hawkes Bay when he takes up the CEO position commencing in March 12.