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HIAL appoints Paul Kelsall as CEO

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) has today announced the appointment of Paul Kelsall as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Image courtesy HIAL

Paul Kelsall (above), who has a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience in the aviation sector, will join HIAL on 20th May 2024.    

Lorna Jack, Chair of HIAL Board said: “We are delighted to have secured someone of Paul’s calibre and experience to lead the organisation and deliver our strategic priorities. I look forward to working with him as an Executive Member of the HIAL Board.”

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Following a successful 22-year career in the Royal Navy, Paul moved into business and commercial operations in the private aviation sector. Having joined Bond Offshore in 2006 he undertook a number of senior roles before becoming Search and Rescue Manager in 2013.

In 2015 he took up the position of Director of Service Delivery with Babcock Offshore, before becoming their Operations Director in 2019. Most recently, Paul was Managing Director and Accountable Manager for Offshore Helicopter Services (OHS) UK Limited, a post he held since February 2021. During that time Paul led the business through a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) process and subsequent divestment to new ownership.

Shaun Roseveare, Chief Executive Officer of OHS UK’s owners Ultimate Aviation, said: "Paul has made a valuable contribution to the business, often in difficult circumstances and we wish him well in the next chapter of his career."

Speaking following his appointment Paul said: “I am thrilled to be joining HIAL as CEO and am hugely excited to lead an organisation that has played a large part in my working career. My role in 2006 involved working from Sumburgh Airport and during my flying career I have visited almost all HIAL airports.

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“HIAL is renowned for the professional, friendly and high-quality services it provides and I have been fortunate to have had first-hand experience of that throughout my career. I look forward to working with the HIAL Board, the Senior Management Team and the dedicated HIAL team.”

Lorna Jack wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge Stewart Adams, who has served as Interim CEO. She said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stewart Adams for his significant contribution and work with the Senior Management Team to deliver our strategic priorities against a challenging financial backdrop.

“HIAL is in a strong position to commence delivery of our priorities for the coming financial year.  This is in no small part due to Stewart and he will leave HIAL on a sound footing for Paul to build on the good work he has started.”

During his time with the Royal Navy, based at RNAS Culdrose, Paul has been part of numerous search and rescue operations on the Cornish Coast.

He moved to the Northeast of Scotland for work, settling in Aberdeenshire, and is delighted to be relocating to Inverness to take up the position of CEO with HIAL. Inverness is a particular favourite place for him and his wife and they are both looking forward to the move along with their two dogs. He has two children and a granddaughter who live in the South of England and he has two children who will remain in the Aberdeen area. He has no doubt all his children and his granddaughter will enjoy regular visits to the Highlands.

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