Government offloads Airservices boss

The head of the national airspace management agency will depart next month after eight years in the job, despite the board recommending his reappointment.

Offloaded: Jason Harfield

Airservices Australia CEO Jason Harfield will end his term next month, Transport minister Catherine King says.

Mr Harfield confirmed to a Senate Estimates committee in February that his job was up for renewal in March and that the board had made a recommendation to reappoint him.

In a statement on Wednesday, Ms King thanked Mr Harfield for his contribution to aviation and air traffic management, saying he had supported high standards of air traffic and aviation rescue firefighting services in Australia.

“Mr Harfield’s term finishes on 8 June 2024,” the minister said. “The Airservices Board has commenced a global search for his replacement.”


The Greens, who secured a Senate inquiry into aircraft noise in which Airservices Australia came under criticism in relation to Brisbane Airport’s second runway, said the decision not to reappoint Mr Harfield was recognition ASA had failed.

“Minister King’s decision, overturning the board of ASA who recommended Mr Harfield’s reappointment, is clear recognition of ASA’s failures and the need for change,” Greens transport spokesperson Elizabeth Watson Brown said.

The Senate inquiry heard on April April 15 from Professor Marcus Foth, Chairperson of Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance, that ASA was incompetent and had misled the community and the minister about the noise at Brisbane Airport.

“We believe that the fish rots from the head, and we believe that the executive management of Airservices is responsible for mismanaging their obligations under the legislation,” he said.

Board praises current CEO

ASA declined to comment on the circumstances of Mr Harfield’s departure but said he was finishing his role in line with his contract.

“The Board and I are grateful for Jason’s leadership, deep knowledge of, and passion for the organisation and the role Airservices plays in the industry,” ASA chairman John Webber said in a statement provided to Government News.

“In particular, his navigating of the organisation through the pandemic that allowed Airservices to continue to operate pretty much as normal with continuity of services to industry while providing certainty for staff in uncertain times.”

Peter Curran has been appointed as the Acting Chief Executive until a new CEO is found.

Over his 30-year career Mr Harfield has served in a range of roles in the industry including serving as Australia’s Head Air Traffic Controller and has been a core member of the Airservices Executive leadership team for nearly two decades.

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One thought on “Government offloads Airservices boss

  1. Decades as a senior leader.
    Look at the significant cultural issues. Who is responsible?
    Bravo. We thankyou for your service.

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