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Mr Tony Brazil from Limerick Travel and Clare County manager Mr Tom Coughlan have been appointed to the board of Shannon Airport Authority. Additionally, Mr Neil Pakey has been appointed as the company’s new CEO, effective from June 2013.

Chairman Rose Hynes welcomed the two new board members saying “I look forward to working with both of them towards delivering further on Shannon’s potential as a key economic driver for the wider region.” She also commented on the skills each individual will bring to the board mentioning Tony Brazil’s “knowledge of all aspects of the tourism industry” and Tom Coughlan’s “dynamism and energy” all of which will have a very positive impact on the board.

New CEO

The company’s new CEO, Mr Neil Pakey has, since 2010, been the Senior Director of Network Marketing of the Vantage Airports Group with responsibility for 18 airports worldwide, including airports in Canada, Cyprus, the Caribbean and the UK. 

From 2002 to 2010, he was Managing Director of Liverpool John Lennon Airport and has also held senior management positions at Manchester Airport plc, where he helped grow passenger numbers from less than six million passengers per year to more than 16 million passengers per year.

In addition, from 2006 to 2010, Neil was Deputy CEO and CEO of Peel Airports Ltd, which owned Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley Airports, as well as Liverpool John Lennon.  He has also held senior positions at two international airlines, Air Seychelles and British Caledonian Airways, and was seconded as the UK National Expert in the aviation division of the European Commission from 1991 to 1994, specifically supporting the development of the EU air liberalisation programme. Neil also chaired the UK Airport Operators Association for three successive terms.

Chairman of Shannon Airport, Rose Hynes welcomed the appointment and Mr Pakey’s “excellent track record”. He takes on the job “at a very important and challenging time for the company and I am confident that he will do an outstanding job.”

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar TD, mentioned the fact the Government set Shannon on a new strategic direction by granting it full independence from the Dublin Airport Authority almost six months ago and so “Mr Pakey will lead Shannon Airport as it sets out on its own path to secure financial and commercial success, now free to determine its own future.” 

A key priority for the new CEO, the Minister added, and the new board “will be to arrest the decline in passenger numbers which has been the trend for the last five years, and then reverse it.” Mr Pakey will also become the CEO “of the new Shannon entity to be formed from the merger of Shannon Airport with a restructured Shannon Development, which will develop a broadly-based aviation industry cluster in and around the airport providing a strong employment stimulus in the Shannon region. The drafting of the Bill to provide for this merger will be carried out over the summer and will be brought through the Houses of the Oireachtas during the autumn session.”

Speaking on his appointment, Mr Pakey said his goal is to “build the business and lead a team dedicated to achieving operational excellence, superior customer service, efficiency in all functions and with full support for our airlines, partners and stakeholders.”

The other members of the Board include: Rose Hynes (Chairman), Mary Considine, Pat Dalton, Kathryn O’Leary Higgins, Liam O’Shea, Joe Buckley and Kevin McCarthy.