Bob Urquhart says goodbye to 45 years in aviation

Published: Tuesday, 13 August 2019 at 3:27:53 PM

Bob Urquhart.

Picture Caption: Bob Urquhart has retired after more than 45 years in the aviation industry.

There’s something about airports that Bob Urquhart must be very fond of because he’s spent more than 45 years working in aviation.

Bob retired recently from position of Airport Manager after working for the City of Greater Geraldton for more than 20 years.

And for 24 years before that, he was based at the Geraldton Airport in a number of roles.

City of Greater Geraldton CEO Ross McKim said Bob’s legacy at the Geraldton Airport will be remembered forever.

“Bob has led the Geraldton Airport through many changes and has got it to where it is today,” he said.

“For that, and for his unwavering dedication and passion – we say thank you.

“Many know Bob has been such a driving force behind our Airport operations for some time and we wish him all the best on his retirement.”

Bob began with the then Shire of Greenough as Geraldton Airport Manager in August 1998. His previous 24 years in the industry saw him employed as a part-time Air Traffic Officer with MacRobertson Miller Airlines, Airlines of WA and Ansett WA before joining National Jet as Regional Manager in 1996.

Bob said his 45 years in the aviation industry has provided him with a great opportunity to share his working life with the community.

“My first task in 1998 as Airport Manager was to oversee a $6.5 million asphalt upgrade of the existing main runway and associated aprons and taxiway,” he said.

“And my last task was to oversee the latest $24 million upgrade of the existing runway and taxiway infrastructure which will officially open in September 2019.”

Since 1998 Geraldton has seen the building of the Greenough Terminal and its subsequent extension twice to accommodate aviation security screening, extensive parking expansion for both aircraft and vehicles, CCTV and access control, utility renewal for potable and fire service water, fibre optics/NBN and a new electrical power upgrade.

All of these changes Bob describes as major highlights.

“All have been significant achievements in their time however the latest extension of the runway system to accommodate wide body jets allowing Geraldton Airport to become an integral part of the Western Australian aviation network infrastructure has been a highlight of achievements,” Bob said.

“All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the ongoing support of the Mayor, Councillors, CEO and staff that worked with me at the Airport; also those working in other City departments that make the jigsaw pieces fall into place.”

Bob is no stranger to the spotlight and has been recognised for his dedication after winning the WA Chairman’s Award for outstanding service to the airport industry in 2018 and 2014. He was also appointed to the prestigious National Board of the Australian Airports Association in 2013.

A resident of Geraldton since 1964, Bob has made a huge contribution to the community by being a member on many boards, committees and associations.

As well as being a member of the Rotary Club of Geraldton since 1982, he has also been deputy chair of the WA Museum Geraldton Advisory Committee, a member of the Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association Committee and Chairman of the Mid West Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee.

Bob officially retired from the City of Greater Geraldton in July 2019 and gave special mention and thanks to former colleagues - Shire of Greenough CEO Bill Perry, City Director Corporate and Commercial Services Bob Davis and Geraldton Airport Coordinator Leonie Richards.

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