The Muskoka Airport has its first CEO.

The District has appointed Len O’Connor to the position. He starts early next month. The district says O’Connor was interviewed and recommended by a panel including members of the Muskoka Airport Board of Directors.

The new CEO position replaces the old Airport Manager. Mark Stirling was the last Airport Manager, a role he held for 12 years before retiring in December.

O’Connor brings plenty of experience to his new job.

He served as Airport Manager and progressed to the role of CEO for the Niagara District Airport, where he reported to the Airport Commission and was responsible for implementation of the strategic business plan.  Currently, he manages a number of overseas aviation sites for Airways Limited.

His resume also includes airfield maintenance and management roles with the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. In addition to his aviation experience and credentials, O’Connor also brings senior management experience from the packaged foods and tourism sectors of the economy to the position.

“The Board looks forward to working closely with Len to develop a long-term strategy for the airport,” said Bud Purves, Chair of the Muskoka Airport Board in a release.  “His significant experience will be key to pursuing additional economic development opportunities at the airport, and will also ensure that management of the airport remains first class and meets all standards in the future.”

“With the growing number of opportunities surrounding the airport, council is very pleased that Len’s leadership will be in place to support the board in developing and executing its strategic plan,” said John Klinck, Chair of the District Municipality of Muskoka and Muskoka Airport Board member.

As CEO, O’Connor will be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the Muskoka Airport in accordance with all regulations and ensuring effective relationships are maintained with airport-based businesses and tenants, the aviation community and airport users.

“Len’s experiences and track record for revenue generation are sure to help us enhance the level of innovation at the airport,” said Michael Duben, Chief Administrative Officer with the District of Muskoka.  “We are very fortunate that he and his family have decided to join the District family.”