New Zealander, David Hayes, spent a week in January on the Gold Coast visiting family, and kindly took time out of his schedule to join Jill Brix and Jeff McKee from Avisure for lunch on the Burleigh foreshore. David is the manager of Hood Airport (NZMS), Masterton, located on the North Island about 40nm north-east of Wellington. David is also is a board member of the NZ Airports Association (NZAA).
Hood, although a small regional airport, is busy and unique: it is a GA and warbird hub, is host to the Sport and Vintage Aviation Society, and one of the few remaining airports that support working replica World War I aircraft, including the notorious and fatal Fokker Dr.1 Triplane.
David too, has a unique and varied background: he originally trained as a large animal veterinarian and pilot, flying around remote areas of northern Queensland servicing the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Education Campaign (BTEC). Subsequently, he took up practice in New Zealand and eventually moved into the government biosecurity arena.
David maintained his passion for aviation, and on retiring from the animal health sector, took up the reins at Hood Airport, and became, on behalf of the NZAA, a strong advocate for safe regional airports.
We look forward to a long and productive collaboration with David, particularly in the areas of regional airport management and broadscale integrated wildlife management programs.
Feature image: The distinctive Fokker Dr.1 Triplane, preferred weapon of the Red Baron. Also notorious for dropping out of the sky and crashing due to wing failure (wings falling off!).