Operational announcement: AirTanker Services Chairman Keith Filbey assumes new leadership role

AirTanker Services confirms that with immediate effect, that its Chairman, Keith Filbey, has taken over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business.

This follows the resignation of Dave Mitchard as Managing Director, after seven years in post, to pursue a new role as Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

Keith Filbey, Chairman, AirTanker Services said: “While we are disappointed to be losing Dave, we fully understand and support his decision and wish him well for the future.

“We do not foresee any changes in day-to-day operations, which will continue to be directed by the AirTanker Services Executive team.”

Commenting on his decision Dave Mitchard said: “AirTanker Services has achieved a huge amount since 2008 and not least in the past year, including the completion of the core fleet and with it our AAR In-Service Date – the last major contractual milestone on AirTanker Services road to Full Service Delivery next year.

“With this milestone achieved and a new chapter in the AirTanker story about to begin, it is now an appropriate time for me personally to pursue new areas of interest but also no less importantly, the right time for the business for me to do so.”

Notes to editors:

*Keith Filbey had a full career as an RAF pilot flying the Victor K1A, Nimrod R, TriStar and VC10 aircraft.  He commanded No 216 Squadron in the Air Transport and Air to Air Refuelling roles from 1983 to 1986, and RAF Brize Norton from 1990 to 1992.  In 1994, he joined the Cabinet Office, on secondment, as a Deputy Chief of the Assessments Staff, before returning to the MOD as the Director of Air Operations in 1997.  He was a member of the Senior Directing Staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1998, before being appointed Air Officer Commanding No.38 Group in 2000; he subsequently became AOC No 2 Group later that year.

On leaving the RAF in 2003, Keith worked briefly as a Business Development Consultant for Cobham plc before becoming, in 2004, CEO of AirTanker Services Ltd, the Special Purpose Vehicle Company that will provide the FSTA service at RAF Brize Norton.  Following the signature of the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) Contract in early 2008, he became Chairman of AirTanker Services; he is also the Customer Relations Director of AirTanker Ltd.

*Dave Mitchard joined AirTanker Services in February 2008 from his previous role as Managing Director of Flagship Training, a joint-venture between VT Group and BAE Systems, which was appointed by the MOD to deliver the £2bn Naval Training Partnership. Previous to this he held commercial roles with both VT and Eaton Aerospace.

26 February 2015