Long-serving Chief Executive of the Aerial Application Association of Australia (AAAA) Phil Hurst is set to retire from the job in January 2022.
Hurst has been an intrinsinc part of the rise of the AAAA from a simple membership association to an expert organisation that has contributed to a rise in safety in aerial agriculture and firefighting operations. He has served in the role for 22 years.
AAAA President Stephen Holding paid tribute when announcing Hursts pending retirement.
“Phil is a born innovator who has improved the professionalism of the industry, educated regulators and built programs and services that offer genuine value," Holding said.
“AAAA membership has never been higher, accounting for over 90% of all aerial application in Australia. This is largely a testimony to the impact Phil has had in building AAAA into a position of trust and delivering reliable, positive outcomes.”
Hurst has also contributed to most government inquiries and reviews, including the current RRAT senate inquiry, and has been a part of CASA Technical Working Groups and the General Aviation Advisory Network (GAAN).
Hurst has been credited with creating the Aerial Improvement Management Systems (AIMS) program, which remains a world-leading program recognised by regulators, insurers and participants as incredibly valuable for safety, the environment and business.
“All of the members and Directors of AAAA wish Phil and his partner Louise all the best in their future endeavours and we look forward to welcoming them to future AAAA events as valued members of the aerial application community,” Holding concluded.
Hurst was awarded Honorary Life Membership of AAAA in 2019 in recognition of his service and achievements.
A search is currently underway to find a replacement CEO for the AAAA.