Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins is the new CEO of the Comox Valley Airport. Photo submitted

Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins is the new CEO of the Comox Valley Airport. Photo submitted

Comox Valley Airport Commission announces new CEO

Alex Robertson is serving as acting CEO since Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave last year

  • Oct. 23, 2020 2:50 p.m.

Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins has been named the incoming chief executive officer of the Comox Valley Airport.

In a release Friday, The Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) noted Atkins will take over the duties of Alex Robertson, who has served as acting CEO since Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave in November of 2019.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Mike to CVAC,” said board chair, Martin Crilly. “This year has been a difficult one, adapting to the challenges of a global pandemic, while coping with the sad passing of CEO Fred Bigelow. Like Fred, Mike is a former commander at 19 Wing Comox, with established relationships with community stakeholders, making him ideally suited to take the lead of our organization in the midst of ongoing recovery efforts. We have every confidence that the airport will continue to thrive under Mike’s direction and leadership.

RELATED: Former wing commander, YQQ CEO Fred Bigelow passes away

“I would also like to extend my appreciation to acting CEO Alex Robertson,” added Martin. “He and the CVAC team have ensured that aviation services have continued in the safest possible manner throughout these challenging times.”

Atkins brings significant team-building, leadership, crisis and strategic planning experience developed through multiple positions in search and rescue and higher headquarters during a 35-year military career. In addition to his command at 19 Wing, he is a former commanding officer of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, and most recently, the Canadian Defence Advisor to the United Kingdom.

Atkins’ professional education includes a Bachelor of Engineering (RMC), an MBA (Saint Mary’s) and an MDS(KCL). He and his wife Susan look forward to finally putting down roots in the beautiful Comox Valley.

“I am honoured to have been selected as Fred’s successor, and look forward to working with the CVAC team, the board, 19 Wing and the community as we continue to adapt to the evolving realities of a COVID-19 environment,” said Atkins.

“I am eager to assume my new role, leading the innovation and adaptation that will be required to ensure that CVAC continues to provide excellent aviation services while enabling the economic growth of the Comox Valley.”

He beings his new position Jan. 4, 2021, to allow sufficient time to transition out of his current role and return to Canada, amidst enhanced pandemic regulations.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

After holding recent meetings socially distanced but in person at Isfeld Secondary, the board of education was back meeting via Zoom because of recent pandemic restrictions. Image, screenshot
Most parents approve of schools’ handling of pandemic, says Comox Valley superintendent

Schools forced to adapt to COVID-19, including finding alternative to regular theatre production

The Gnarly Craft Fair is going virtual this year. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Gnarly Youth Craft goes virtual

The virtual fair will be open until Dec. 19 and features talented youth aged 9 -19 years

Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay has closed again due to a threat Friday (Dec 4). File photo
Lake Trail Middle School closed for the second time in a week due to threat

On Nov. 26, the school was closed for a day while a similar incident occurred.

Comox Valley singer-songwriter Helen Austin, and Cincinnati’s Paul Otten are Big Little Lions. Photo via biglittlelions.com
Big Little Lions earn Canadian Folk Music Award nomination

Duo featuring Comox Valley singer-songwriter Helen Austin keeping busy during pandemic

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Beefs and Bouquets
Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Dec. 2

Beef to deer hunters; bouquet from a store owner to shoppers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read