Changes are coming to Kamloops Airport management next month.
Heather McCarley is leaving Kamloops Airport after 18 months at the helm as managing director. McCarley has accepted a director position at Vantage Airport Group’s corporate office in Vancouver.
She will leave in mid-March and will be replaced by former airport operations manager Ed Ratuski, who is currently in New York City, working at LaGuardia Airport.
After spending more than two decades in management at Vancouver Airport Authority, McCarley came to Kamloops Airport in September 2017, succeeding longtime managing director Fred Legace, who was there for 15 years and helped usher in improvements in airfares and passenger volumes at Fulton Field.
During McCarley’s short time at Kamloops Airport, a record number of passengers walked through the doors in 2018 — nearly 11 per cent more than the previous year — and several projects were undertaken, including renovation of the float plane dock and plans to open up lots for aviation development at the property. A June to October Kamloops to Toronto flight was also launched and renewed.
McCarley said her experience in Kamloops created a “foundation” for her new corporate role. As Vantage manages a network of airports, including Kamloops, she said her experience in Kamloops “provides a great foundation for continued work with the Kamloops team.”
Replacement Ratuski is a Kamloops resident with more than 25 years of aviation experience. He previously served as airport operations manager at Kamloops Airport from 2010 to 2016 and has more recently been working on an operations team at a Vantage-led organization redeveloping the central terminal at LaGuardia.
Ratuski will start the first week of March, after he returns from the Big Apple.
“I’m looking forward to returning to the Kamloops Airport team with a fresh perspective from my role at LaGuardia Terminal B,” Ratuski said in a press release. “It’s an exciting time for Kamloops Airport and the community it serves and I am glad to continue supporting the safe, efficient and friendly operations that our airport is known for.”
McCarley will stay on to help him transition. A media meet-in-greet with the new airport manager will be held next month.
Meanwhile, McCarley said Kamloops Airport will need to continue advocacy for new routes to places like Edmonton, Seattle and Victoria and additional frequencies.
Kamloops Airport is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.