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Harald Hendel Appointed Aerowork CEO

Following an extensive executive search, Ravensdown’s Aviation Business, Aerowork, has appointed Harald Hendel as its new CEO.

Harald is a former international Airbus Executive with more than 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry and a strong background in operational safety.

Returning to New Zealand in 2020, Harald worked as Chief Accident Investigator at the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

Garry Diack, Ravensdown CEO and Aerowork Director, said Harald’s appointment is testament to the co-op’s focus on safety and operational excellence.

“Aerowork is already home to some of the most skilful aerial spreading pilots, engineers and ground crew in the business. Our team of pilots has a phenomenal amount of experience under their belts, with an average of more than 13,000 flying hours between them.

“We were looking for a leader with strong commercial acumen, an excellent operational background and, importantly, a laser sharp focus on safety. Harald brings all of these attributes to the role.”

In his 28 years with Airbus in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Harald held a number of roles including Senior Project Manager for Legal Investigation Operations and Head of Flight Ops Analysis.

He spearheaded Airbus’s expansion into India and led Airbus legal and forensic teams when directing investigations across multiple regions.

In welcoming Harald to the wider Ravensdown whanau, Garry acknowledged outgoing Aerowork CEO, Fabian Kopu, and congratulated Fabian on his new role as Ravensdown’s first Pou Ārahi.

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“In his new role, Fabian will lead and develop our Māori Business Strategy in conjunction with the Leadership Team and the Te Ao Māori Advisory Rōpu.”

“For the first time in our history, we will have someone who can help guide us and link Te Ao Māori to Te Ao Pākehā in relationships and project delivery at Ravensdown.”

Fabian will remain with Aerowork and hold accountability to the Civil Aviation Authority until Harald transitions into the role. This allows time for a full and proper handover after Harald takes up the Aerowork CEO position in Whanganui on 10 June.

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