The Prince George Airport Authority had a firm set of prerequisites in mind for its new chief executive and has found its man to take the helm at arguably the most critical time in the airport's history.If his resume is anything by which to judge him, John Gibson certainly fills the bill.
Gibson, who begins his new job July 1, comes to Prince George from Hamilton, Ont., where he is in charge of marketing at Hamilton International.
Gibson also has extensive experience in air cargo operations with Canadian Airlines International and Pacific Western Airlines.
A leader with experience in marketing and cargo is a necessity at today's YXS.
The airport has a recently-christened runway that was lengthened for one principal reason: to act as a refueling stop for international cargo flights between Asia and the eastern seaboard.
The airport authority had hoped to see the first cargo flight arrive in January, but the global recession has helped conspire against it - that and a refueling apron that fell behind schedule because 150 toads had to be uprooted and given a new habitat.
Gibson's expertise in marketing and cargo will be relied on heavily to ensure YXS meets the challenges set before it.
At lot of faith, not to mention money - about $36 million - has been heaped on YXS to transform it from a primarily regional passenger hub to a world player with all the ancillary economic benefits that are expected to accrue.
Those would include the air cargo logistics park planned near the airport and the jobs that go with it.Gibson, a B.C. native, helped turn Hamilton International into Canada's largest cargo airport in close proximity to Toronto and sees a similarity between Prince George and Anchorage, the Alaskan city from which YXS is aiming to siphon business.
So far it's been all hype and little action at Prince George Airport and the postponed promises have begun to take on a hollow sound. The new man has a mammoth task ahead to turn the doubters into believers and YXS into a local economic catalyst.
It's time to deliver.