After 10 years in the cockpit of the Prince George Airport Authority, president and CEO, John Gibson is moving on.
The airport authority made the announcement Thursday morning.
“It has been a privilege to lead the Prince George Airport Authority and to see it succeed over the last 10 years,” said Gibson in a news release. “This organization is full of good people and I want to thank all of our staff as they have truly helped with the growth, advancement, and keeping us a ‘best in class’ airport. I would also like to thank the Board of Directors for the great working relationship over the last 10 years and the confidence in my leadership.”
The PGAA Board will now begin the search process for a new president and CEO, considering both internal and external candidates. PFM Executive Search will lead the recruitment.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank John for his leadership of the PGAA over the past decade,” said Dean Mason, Chair of the Board of Directors. “John became President and CEO of the PGAA in 2009 and came to Prince George as an aviation industry veteran with over 35 years of experience. Under his leadership, we have achieved greater focus as an organization, and strengthened our team and our commitment to the community we serve. John will be missed. We are deeply grateful for his innumerable contributions to PGAA’s growth and success to date and are confident that he has positioned the organization solidly for great opportunities in the future.”
Since taking the helm at YXS, Gibson has been instrumental in the financial, operational and labour stability within the organization. This includes improving the company’s cash flow and reaching three collective agreements with the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
Gibson has overseen the construction of a cargo warehouse, a 600,000 litre fuel farm, rehabilitation of runways 06/24, 01/19 and aprons 1, 2, 3, and 4, a new instrument landing system (ILS), and new lighting of the runways and aprons. He has also been involved in the early stages of development for a logistics park for the Prince George Airport. Since 2009, $32 million has been invested in capital projects to meet growth and demand, enhance safety and efficiency of operations, and comply with regulatory requirements.
Under his management, YXS experienced wide body operations including the Antonov and the recent 747. It is anticipated that this will lead to the emergence of an international fuelling program that will further utilize the extended runway and apron.
In the 10 years under his leadership, YXS has seen an increase of 35 per cent in the number of passengers despite little population growth. The airport hit a record number of passengers in 2018 with 506,484. The airport now has four airlines offering scheduled services between 12 destinations: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Terrace, Smithers, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Puerto Vallarta on a seasonal basis.
Customer experience at the airport has been a priority for Gibson. YXS utilized an Airport Service Quality (ASQ) measurement program in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Prince George Airport scored high in all categories with particular strengths in friendliness, efficiency, and security. Deficiencies identified in the surveys were lack of access from the lower parking lot and lack of food service in the hold room. These are being addressed with the construction of the new elevator (2018) and food service in the hold room expected later this year.
Gibson represented the PGAA nationally as the Chair of the Canadian Airports Council (the CAC has 120 airports in its membership) and has held an Executive Board position on the Airports Council International-North America.
Prior to coming to the PGAA, Gibson held senior management positions at Pacific Western Airlines, Canadian Airlines International, and Hamilton International Airport.