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It was with enormous sadness that we received the news yesterday of the passing of Sir Wilson Whineray, a long-serving Director of Auckland Airport, and a great New Zealander.
Sir Wilson served as a Director of Auckland Airport from 1992 to 2005, and was one of that rare breed of leaders who combined outstanding business acumen with profound wisdom, and with an overlay of mana, dignity and personal humility.
Sir Wilson was pivotal in maintaining a strong future orientation for Auckland Airport. One significant example of this was the decision made to make Auckland Airport capable of receiving the large new generation aircraft such as the A380.
Sir Wilson demonstrated his vision during the debate around the board table, citing the fact that if we didn't widen the runways to accommodate those aircraft, the country was at potential risk of becoming a "branch office of Australia". With Auckland now receiving two A380 aircraft on a daily basis, the prescience shown by Sir Wilson has benefited New Zealand’s tourism and trade significantly.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone at Auckland Airport, we extend our thoughts and deepest sympathies to Sir Wilson’s family. He will be greatly missed.