New Airport Director Named

Gary Cobb has been appointed Airport Director at Ronaldsway and will take up his role in August.

Mr Cobb is currently based in Inverness as Chief Operating Officer with Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL).

Since joining HIAL in 2020, his focus has been on airport operations and regulatory compliance, with specific responsibility for aerodrome management, health and safety, and corporate and capital projects.

Prior to this, Mr Cobb was Head of Airfield Planning at Gatwick Airport.

Emily Curphey, Interim Chief Executive at the Department of Infrastructure, said: ‘Recruiting to the role of airport director was a challenging process with a number of high quality candidates putting themselves forward. I’m delighted that Gary has chosen to join the team and look forward to him playing an influential role in the future of Isle of Man Airport.’

The DoI has confirmed that Mr Cobb will be based on the island full-time.

Googled Him

Having Googled Mr Cobb, we found that he was recently appointed as a trustee on the board of the Port of Inverness and during his time at HIAL, he was forced to defend a controversial plan to centralise Air Traffic Control at a remote location in Inverness. After £9m of public money was spent, the scheme was dropped amid controversy.

That led to Orkney MSP Liam McArthur (Lib Dem) telling the Scottish Parliament: ‘For years, HIAL and SNP ministers insisted that centralisation was the only option for modernising air traffic services across the Highlands and Islands. That was never the case and finally the government and HIAL have been forced to come clean.

‘Confirmation by the minister that the ‘remote tower’ procurement has been cancelled is welcome. It comes, however, only after millions in public funds have been spent on an ill-conceived vanity project opposed across parties and the communities most directly affected. No-one disputes the need to modernise air traffic services, which support operations on our lifeline air routes. Sadly, months and millions have been wasted by SNP ministers and HIAL on a centralisation that was never going to get off the ground.’