General Manager - Kerry Airport


Kerry Airport was incorporated as a public limited company in July 1968 with its main objective of building and managing an airport at Farranfore. It currently provides scheduled direct flights to Dublin, London-Stansted, London-Luton and Frankfurt-Hahn with additional charter flights and sunshine destinations during the Summer.
Almost 336,000, passengers went through the airport in 2017 and it is constantly sourcing new routes that will be sustainable and of social and economic benefit to those living, working and holidaying in the region of Kerry.

Based in Farranfore and reporting to the Chairman of the Board, the Airport General Manager is responsible for the overall leadership and successful day to day running of the airport to include Aerodrome and Financial operations. The Appointee is also the "Accountable Manager" - a mandatory position under the Airport’s Aerodrome Licence.

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • In conjunction with the Financial Controller, draft, submit, gain Board agreement to and monitor annual budgets, ensuring that all elements of airport operations deliver effectively within these budgets. 
  • Identify the need for capital expenditure, developing appropriate plans and obtaining Board approval as required. 
  • Negotiation of contracts for capital expenditure, agreeing design and control of capital expenditure building projects as well as purchase of equipment.
  • Negotiate contracts with various airlines on airport and ground handling charges, while proactively developing and enhancing relationships with the management of originating hubs and the main airlines operational managers.
  • Negotiating service contracts with suppliers as well as negotiation of licences and leases with airport tenants.
  • Maintaining the airport under the conditions required to maintain the Aerodrome Licence including management of the maintenance of essential equipment such as Navaids, calibration of equipment Aerodrome lighting.
  • Ensuring that suitably qualified and competent persons are employed in operational and safety critical positions while also attending and contributing to formal safety related committees and meetings.
  • Ensure best in class Emergency Planning including interactions with Co. Council Fire Service, HSE, Gardai and Coast Guard and Army.
  • Participate as a member of various committees including National Facilitation Committee, National Bird Hazard Committee, IBEC etc., along with informal meetings of the Irish Regional Airports.
  • Lead and ensure a proper structure is in place to deal with Public Affairs and Customer Relations to include the handling of complaints, dealing with media, external stakeholders (e.g. Tourism Boards, Chambers of Commerce, County Council etc.) and the general public.
  • Develop and maintain positive and enabling contacts with local politicians and Government ministers.
  • Effectively oversee all legal matters and positive communication with Irish Aviation Authority and the Department of Transport.
  • Optimise the company’s position in accessing and dealing with grant applications while also liaising effectively with Banks, Insurance brokers and other key professional service providers.
  • Lead effective Human Resources strategy and plans, focused on developing and maintaining adequate staffing levels, recruitment, training and promotion of staff to underpin the company’s future success.
  • Ensure best-in-class processes are in place for training staff in Drop line, Adjusted Weight and Computerised aircraft Load & Trim systems and monthly audits of Load Sheets, while also keeping Dangerous Goods Training up to date.
  • Promote and encourage an overall Just Culture with staff and other stakeholders.
  • Lead dialogue and, when required, negotiations with trade unions and staff representatives.
  • Oversee the effective scrutiny and assessment of weekly planning applications to ensure that no future developments are permitted that may breach the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces.
  • Overseeing the effective management of all possible obstacles (in particular trees) in the vicinity of the airport while also arranging surveys where appropriate and developing and maintaining good relations with local landowners / farmers. 

The Successful Candidate will have:

  • A primary degree and / or relevant qualifications in Regulatory Disciplines / Aviation Operations / Compliance / Quality Management.
  • Exposure to and an appreciation of how to lead effectively in a strongly regulated setting with a minimum of 5 years leadership experience in a complex, operations-focused, multi-shift environment.
  • Strong evidence of leading a focused, ‘compliance first’ culture within a multifaceted operating environment - having developed, effectively communicated and embedded robust Standard Operating Procedures and measureable processes.
  • Some of this experience could ideally be in aviation operations or certainly within complex, people-centred and highly regulated environments with evidence of developing processes and a fit for purpose team.
  • Consistent with an environment where peoples’ safety & security are paramount strong Governance, Regulatory and Planning capability will be important.
  • Highly developed leadership and communication skills - the obvious ability to be the voice of the organisation and its ‘Just Culture’ which has a local sense of pride.
  • Proven ability to deliver operational excellence in a complex, highly regulated operating environment.
  • A commercial and business development mindset with the ability to optimise profitability from a multifaceted organisation.
  • Robust analytical skills with the strong facility to identify critical actions from reports, data, the executive team and the overall operation.
  • A highly effective and naturally visible leader with sophisticated but grounded relationship building skills who can comfortably and very clearly communicate with and positively challenge the executive team, while cohesively aligning external stakeholders including state agencies along with day to day operations personnel.
  • Tenacity and resilience with a real capacity to deliver in a pressurised environment.
  • A proactive, strategic and continuous-improvement approach to operational excellence. 
  • A visionary but practical and resilient mind-set to understand and anticipate the nuances of future development in a delivery-focused and somewhat unpredictable environment.
  • The drive, energy and positive mind-set to lead and deliver on future growth ambitions.   

This is a long-term opportunity to lead an organisation which has realistic and well-resourced ambitions at a key stage of its planned development and investment.

To apply, please email in strict confidence quoting Ref. No. 18593, giving full career details and summarising your relevance to:

Signium Ireland 
130 Rathgar Road
Dublin D06 KF22
Tel: +353 1 496 6500