Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins is the new CEO of the Comox Valley Airport. Photo submitted

Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins is the new CEO of the Comox Valley Airport. Photo submitted

Comox Valley Airport Commission announces new CEO

Alex Robertson is serving as acting CEO since Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave last year

Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins has been named the incoming chief executive officer of the Comox Valley Airport.

In a release Friday, the Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) noted Atkins will take over the duties of Alex Robertson, who had served as acting CEO since Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave in November of 2019.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Mike to CVAC,” said board chair, Martin Crilly. “This year has been a difficult one, adapting to the challenges of a global pandemic, while coping with the sad passing of CEO Fred Bigelow.

“Like Fred, Mike is a former commander at 19 Wing Comox, with established relationships with community stakeholders, making him ideally suited to take the lead of our organization in the midst of ongoing recovery efforts. We have every confidence that the airport will continue to thrive under Mike’s direction and leadership.

RELATED: Former wing commander, YQQ CEO Fred Bigelow passes away

“I would also like to extend my appreciation to acting CEO Alex Robertson,” added Martin. “He and the CVAC team have ensured that aviation services have continued in the safest possible manner throughout these challenging times.”

Atkins brings significant team-building, leadership, crisis and strategic planning experience developed through multiple positions in search and rescue and higher headquarters during a 35-year military career.

In addition to his command at 19 Wing, he is a former commanding officer of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, and most recently, the Canadian Defence Advisor to the United Kingdom.

Atkins’ professional education includes a Bachelor of Engineering (RMC), an MBA (Saint Mary’s) and an MDS (KCL). He and his wife Susan look forward to finally putting down roots in the beautiful Comox Valley.

“I am honoured to have been selected as Fred’s successor, and look forward to working with the CVAC team, the board, 19 Wing and the community as we continue to adapt to the evolving realities of a COVID-19 environment,” said Atkins.

“I am eager to assume my new role, leading the innovation and adaptation that will be required to ensure that CVAC continues to provide excellent aviation services while enabling the economic growth of the Comox Valley.”

He begins his new position Jan. 4, 2021, to allow sufficient time to transition out of his current role and return to Canada, amidst enhanced pandemic regulations.

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