Comox Valley Airport searching for new CEO
Shirley de Silva, citing personal reasons, has tendered her resignation as chief executive officer of the Comox Valley Airport Commission.
Her last day is April 30.
“I greatly appreciate the support that the Comox Valley Airport Commission has given me during my tenure here,” de Silva said in a statement. "I have complete faith that the wonderful staff I leave behind will keep the airport on its same positive trajectory."
Before joining the CVAC in January, 2010, de Silva managed the Kingston Norman Rogers Airport in Ontario and the Bathurst Regional Airport in New Brunswick.
"She's done a lot," CVAC board chair Brad Minton said. "We've covered a lot of ground. The first thing we did was put together that strategic plan. She has been ticking off those objectives one by one over the last two years, and we're in really good shape."
Among other things, the plan's mandate called for an increase to passenger loads, which Minton said is back up to more than 300,000, and to enhance the "corporate culture" at YQQ.
"In terms of new roots, she's made presentations to over 14 airlines, for secondary lines. We're always interested in that," Minton said. "She's done a terrific job. We appreciate what she's done."
During de Silva's tenure, the airport established the region’s first charter flight to Fort Nelson in northern B.C., and a direct flight to Cancun, Mexico.
de Silva has also overseen a public relations program aimed at increasing communication with the commission’s nominating entities (local governments appoint some board members), YQQ staff, the community, passengers and airlines. A revamped marketing strategy was launched last year to stem the leakage of passengers to other airports, and to revitalize the terminal building and corporate materials, the CVAC said.
Minton expects the commission will seek out a new CEO "very soon." He notes airport CEOs are highly skilled individuals who contend with a great deal of information, regulations and negotiations. In some cases they are required to run airfields.
"Lots of skills there, but there are people out there that we can chat with," Minton said.