Meet the Team


Photo of Kevin ThomasKevin Thomas, Dip.Eng.Surv. M.I.M.E.S.
Managing Director

Kevin Thomas is a qualified surveyor with substantial experience in aerodrome management, including construction, maintenance and operation. Kevin has had over 26 years of experience in aviation. Prior to starting AMS, he was the Manager at Broome International Airport. Kevin started out as a District Airport Inspector with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, covering most of Western Australia.

Kevin spends a considerable amount of time out inspecting aerodromes and consulting on all facets of aerodrome business. Kevin's qualifications and approvals include a Diploma in Engineering Surveying, a Cert IV in Workplace Training & Assessment, a Private Pilots Licence and CASA Approval (#A012) to conduct Aerodrome Safety Inspections. He is also a member of the Australian Airports Association, Institute of Mining and Engineering Surveyors & WA Institute of Surveyors Inc (Foundation Member). 


Photo of Wendy GraceWendy Grace
Administrator to Managing Director/Technical Assistant

Wendy joined AMS in 2005 as Personal Assistant to Kevin Thomas and Office Administrator. This quickly changed to accompanying Kevin on inspection trips in Western Australia, Northern Territory and North Queensland where she also qualified as Chief Straight Stick Holder (prism pole) with the occasional 2nd in Charge of the "Whatname" Machine (Total Station) when required. Wendy now spends the majority of her time out of Perth. To enable her to do this she runs a completely independent traveling office. This includes report writing and P/A duties along with accounts and invoicing requirements, with fax and internet/email access. She is therefore able to duplicate any work requirements she would have back in the office in Perth.


Photo of Nat ThomasNathanael Thomas
Aerodrome Inspector

Since joining the company in 1999, Nat initially forged a reputation as a hard working labourer and is now considered a thorough and professional project manager. His work experience covers the entire gamut of aerodrome construction and maintenance tasks include pavement and movement area construction, lighting installation, runway maintenance and aerodrome painting. Nat is a subject matter expert and will be able to assist you with all your needs in regards to the construction or maintenance of your aerodrome. 


Photo of Penny DonaldsonPenny Donaldson
Aerodrome Manager - Paraburdoo

Penny commenced with AMS in 2005 and is an integral member of AMS' roving team of aerodrome managers and support crew. Penny has extensive experience with mine sites, local government and civil aerodromes. Penny has undertaken many roles during her tenure with AMS including aerodrome management, ground handling, works safety officer, security contact officer and compliance assurance. With over 10 years experience within the aviation industry, Penny is AMS' primary workplace trainer and assessor; providing aerodrome reporting officer training for airports Australia wide. Through AMS, Penny provided aerodrome management for the Newman Airport over a period of eighteen months, overseeing the introduction of the MOS139, enhanced security arrangements, aerodrome certification and the commencement of the Qantaslink fleet of Boeing 717s, the same applies for the Paraburdoo Airport. During these tenures, Penny was the primary contact for all government bodies including CASA, the Australian Federal Police and DITRDLG and was present at all compliance audits undertaken.


Photo of Kate JohnstoneKate Johnstone
Compliance / Outport's Manager

Kate is the subject matter expert in regards to compliance with CASA requirements when an airport takes the leap to become certified. With extensive experience on mine site and regional aerodromes and a great relationship with CASA representation, Kate is the right person to have assisting you in this complicated process. Kate has filled a variety of roles in the industry including aerodrome management, ground handling, works safety officer and compliance assurance. Originally from an aviation background with National Jet Systems (Cobham), Kate moved into the mining sector and spent five years managing airport and travel operations for Anaconda Nickel (Minara). Kate has also worked in expatriate remote location roles for resources companies in Asia and Africa. Now preferring to stick to domestic travel routes, most weeks you will find Kate at one of the many regional or mining airports around the country providing assistance to the operators and certificate holders. It is also part of Kate’s scope to ensure the smooth, safe and efficient operation of the outport’s managed by AMS staff. 


Photo of Karl ValentinKarl Valentin
Security Manager

Commercial Pilot, RABQSA Lead Auditor, Cert IV workplace training and assessment. Volunteer fire fighter. Karl joined AMS in January of 2007 taking up the position of airport manager in Paraburdoo. His career includes 21 years service in the regular army attaining the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 and spent a total of 14 years with the Special Air Service Regiment. Since leaving the army in February 2000 Karl has worked as a safety trainer in the offshore oil and gas industry specialising in Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), basic firefighting and offshore heli-deck operations training Helicopter Landing Officers (HLO) and refuellers. He has worked in countries including; Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Angola, Nigeria, Sweden, Germany and Australia. In 2005  he took up a post with the UN in Kabul, Afghanistan as the head of logistics and support to a $300US million roads construction program.  After six years as the airport manager at Paraburdoo Karl has taken up a new role in AMS as the Aviation Security Advisor.  He has gained significant experience on security related matters particularly at the regional airport level and is able to advise clients on matters regarding compliance with relevant sections the  of the Aviation Transport Security Act and Regulations.


Photo of Jamie CopelandJamie Copeland
Training Manager

Jamie has worked with heavy industry, emergency management and high risk safety and the associated training required in these fields for over 15 years. Jamie's primary role with AMS is to manage all of the training and trainers provided by AMS. Based in the Perth Office, Jamie's skills are utilised to manage many functions of the business including Administration, technological assistance, tender and contract assistance, support for outports and guidance in regards to Occupational Health and Safety issues throughout the countries sites. 


Peter Alleman
Aerodrome Manager - Halls Creek

Peter is currently the Aerodrome Manager at Halls Creek Airport. Being in such an isolated community, maintaining the serviceability and quality of the aerodrome is essential. Peter's presence at this aerodrome has shown a marked improvement in the operation of the aerodrome.


Photo of Fraser SparksFraser Sparks
Civil Engineer

Degree qualified Civil Engineer with 12 years experience in road pavement construction and maintenance. Fraser has previously worked for government highways agencies, contractors and most recently with the UN in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Fraser has recently joined AMS and will be assisting with superintendence and project management of runway upgrades and construction. 


Rowan (Johnno) Johnston
Paraburdoo Refuelling Officer

Johnno has been working with AMS since October 2011 and is qualified by Shell as an A.C.E. Major Aircraft Refueller. Johnno is based in Paraburdoo on a permanent basis and is on-call to assist with refuelling for aircraft any time, day or night. It is Johnno's professionalism that ensures that aircraft such as RFDS and Qantas jets can depart in a timely fashion from the regional hub, Paraburdoo Airport.


Photo of Austin BoggansAustin Boggans
Design Drafter

Austin is a great asset to AMS. Austin is our senior civil designer drafter. He has over 13 years experience in drafting and design and has worked on a large range of projects from small commercial undertakings to large multimillion dollar projects. He has extensive experience in a number of drafting and civil design software packages and a strong background in all facets of civil works. Austin joined us from the KBR Perth Infrastructure and Minerals group. Before joining KBR in 2006 he worked in the roads and traffic division of Dublin City Council in Ireland where he was employed as a grade 1 civil technician. Before that he spent a number of years working for civil and structural consulting engineers. Whilst at KBR, Austin was assigned to the Sunset Coast Water Alliance as a civil designer for the Water Corporation of WA and most recently to the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Expansion Projects as a lead civil designer and later as project drafter on the Wandoo Housing Project. He had also assisted in smaller main office based projects. 


Photo of Rob and Wendy StradaWendy and Rob Strada
Aerodrome Manager - Groote Eylandt

Wendy and Rob are currently performing the role of ARO / Airport Manager at the Groote Eylandt Airport in the Northern Territory. Carrying out this role in such a remote part of the world presents certain challenges which Wendy and Rob manage valiantly. BHPB (GEMCO) are the owners of the Groote Eylandt aerodrome and AMS has secured a long term contract with GEMCO to safely manage this airport. It has been noted by the client that since AMS arrived in Groote Eylandt, there has been a very pleasing increase in the professionalism and safety at the airport.


Photo of Ruth ThomasRuth Thomas
Accounts Payable

Ruth is an intrinsic part of AMS. Since the companies inception, Ruth has been backing up the company providing assistance with the books and the accounts of the company. Ruth ensures that everyone at AMS is provided with the support needed for the company to continue functioning. 


Photo of Luke Bruce-SmithLuke Bruce-Smith
Airport Trainer / Consultant

Luke has an enthusiasm for aviation and a passion for aviation safety. Luke initially started work in the aviation industry with a charter airline and gained experience in many aspects of aircraft ground handling. Prior to his time in the aviation industry Luke worked in the transport industry with a mix of operator and management experience. More recently Luke has spent five years managing the Telfer airport and has worked to achieve an operation with good reputation in the region. Projects include the establishment of a safety management system document for the aerodrome with links to the existing mine site operator safety management processes, drug and alcohol management, aerodrome document control review, training systems for the airport, airport lighting and airline aviation compliance management for the site. Luke has chaired the Aerodrome Safety Management System Committee during his time spent at Telfer and has participated in collaborative group risk assessments, meetings and system reviews. Integration of the Safety Management System into all of the airports systems is certainly important. Luke has taken pride in using the safety management system to implement changes in staff training for which he holds a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. In addition to his aviation training & assessment experience Luke brings with him an expertise in best practice aerodrome wildlife hazard management techniques, document control, safe working procedures, Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS), aerodrome emergency planning, and aircraft ground handling. The challenges of remote airport management are certainly different to those of city airports. Luke understands these challenges and the approaches required for safe and successful regional airport operation.


Photo of Reith MacLeodReith MacLeod
Relief Airport Manager

Reith commenced Airport Management at Broome International Airport in 1991 and facilitated and assisted with many changes during his 17 years at this airport. During his time at Broome, Reith oversaw the refueling, ground handling, passenger screening, emergency response and airport facilities. This also included looking after the workshop areas and lease holders on the airport land. When Reith commenced at the Broome Airport in 1991, there were two RPT bays, one airline and around 40,000 pax per year. In 2007 there were six RPT bays, five airlines and 400,000 pax per year and the runway had grown from 1500 metres with two taxiways to 2500 metres with six taxiways. Broome based GA charter aircraft grew from a total of five in 1991 to approximately eighty in 2007 plus 4 fixed base helicopters servicing offshore rigs. During all these changes, Reith had to ensure that MOWP’s were prepared correctly and works were carried out in accordance with these requirements. Reith now carries out the role of relief airport manager for AMS and has experience at many different airports throughout Australia. He carries out the roles of Airport Manager, Aerodrome Reporting Officer, Aircraft Refueller and he performs all facets of these tasks to an excellent level making use of his wealth of experience. 


Photo of Carol BirkbeckCarol Birkbeck
Administration Assistant

Carol joined AMS in February of 2012 as an Administration Assistant. Carol has an exceptional amount of experience including working with companies such as Dataflow, Wilson, Toyota and Coca Cola. Carol's duties with AMS are wide ranging and include keeping track of where everyone in the company is and ensuring that we are able to contact everyone, providing quotations to clients in regards to equipment and training needs, ordering goods, general administration duties and being the window to the company buy responding to the many phone calls we recieve each day. AMS is constantly growing and the administration support we are provided with ensures that we remain professional and punctual to all our clients.

Photo of Frank WatterstonFrank Watterston
Aerodrome Manager - Weipa

Frank joined AMS in May 2012 as the Weipa airport manager. Frank is a mechanic by trade, and entered the aviation industry in 1989 with the Civil Aviation Authority as a mechanic at Mount Isa Airport, working on fire tenders, power generation equipment and air conditioning plants. He switched to Australian Airports Pty Ltd (formerly the Federal Airports Corporation) as an Aerodrome Reporting Officer and groundsman in 2001. Through the years he undertook extensive training, completing a Diploma of Management in 2010, becoming the Assets and Aviation Manager for Queensland Airports Ltd at Mount Isa. Frank enjoys the challenges and variety of the aviation industry and is looking forward to the role of managing a remote airport.


Photo of James FraticelliJames Fraticelli
Aerodrome Manager - Boolgeeda

James started with AMS in 2011, he comes from an aviation background holding the positions of Operations Manager in his previous roles. James’ aviation expertise focuses on aviation operational compliance and safety. He has also held the position of Aviation Safety Officer, resulting in the implementation of Operations Manuals and Safety Management Systems into regional charter companies. Recently his focus has been ensuring internal aviation compliance with some of the largest Mining, Oil and Gas companies within Australia. James has a passion for aviation safety, holding an Aviation degree - majoring in human factors, safety and risk management. He also holds a Commercial Pilot’s Licence and has spent several years flying all over Australia, mainly flying to remote indigenous communities in the Kimberley, Pilbara and central NT. With 8 years industry experience holding a MECIR, Flight Instructor Rating and over 3,000hrs of flight time, He has developed a sound knowledge of the aviation industry and of the daily running’s of flight operations. 


Photo of Neil ShayNeil Shay
Security Manager - Weipa

Neil joined AMS in May this 2012 as the supervisor for the security team at Weipa Airport. His duties include training / supervising staff and looking after the day to day operations of the Screening Point. Prior to commencing with AMS, Neil worked for MSS Security which included duties such as training and assessing screeners and supervising MSS Security personnel.


Photo of Steve MunnsSteve Munns
Aerodrome Reporting Officer / Fuel Supervisor - Weipa

Overview in regards to Steve is coming soon. 


Picture of Des Hill flying a hang gliderDes Hill
Aerodrome Manager - Boolgeeda

Des started in aviation in 1984 with Airlines of Western Australia in Geraldton, WA.  Airline ground operations work has taken him to Perth, Karratha and Christmas Island.  He has relieved Airport Managers in many diverse places such as MacArthur River- Northern Territory, Ballera-SW Queensland, Moomba-South Australia and had a permanent role at Murrin Murrin from its inception in WA.  All this has been closely supported by his first love, Kathie.  His second love is hang gliding which he says is “aviation in its purest form “.  Des brings to AMS a friendly disposition and valuable experience which is of great assistance as an Aerodrome Manager at Boolgeeda Airport.


Jodie Gardiner

Jodie is a much needed asset in Aerodrome Management Services. Working on Mondays and Thursdays in the Perth Office, Jodie keeps track of all the different payroll issues which need to be managed and ensures that everyone is paid correctly and on time. Jodie is also assisting with maintaining and improving the Human Resource systems in the company. 


Photo of Chris BitmeadChris Bitmead
Paraburdoo Airport Manager

Chris has spent his entire working life within the aviation industry and brings an extensive experience in the airline industry and aerodrome management industry respectively. A vast knowledge of aircraft refuelling, weather observation, aerodrome lighting, drug and alcohol management, and safety management systems further bolster Chris’ abilities in this industry. Chris holds a Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety and applies the skills and knowledge obtained during this qualification to promote a safe and compliant airport workplace. Chris has been working as a back to back Airport Manager for the past 6 years and understands the challenges of operating an airport in the FIFO industry. Over the past 6 years, Chris has worked hard to build up a highly regarded operation and looks forward to applying this to his new role at Paraburdoo Airport.


Photo of Ian ShandIan Shand
Relief Aerodrome Reporting Officer

Lovingly referred to as Shandy or Irish by those that know him, Ian has long been employed within the airline industry and is well known by those in the industry. Ian has participated in long stints at Ansett and National Jet System (Now Cobham) to name a few. Ian is no stranger to airport management either having spent some time managing the Murrin Murrin aerodrome and travelling throughout WA to support aerodrome operations for various clients. Ian’s knowledge of airline and aerodrome operations makes him a valued asset to the team and together with his nationally recognised qualifications in aerodrome reporting and aerodrome works safety, he is a very capable aerodrome relief worker. 


Jarrod Bell
Trainee Airport Inspector

Jarrod started with AMS in December 2012 with the primary role of learning to become a CASA approved aerodrome inspector. Current AMS has two aproved aerodrome inspectors and with the increase in the number of airports throughout the state, both Nat and Kevin are pushed to keep up with the demand for Annual Technical Inspections (ATI's) and Annual Safety Inspections (ASI's). Jarrod has great knowledge of what is required at an aerodrome and being an experienced pilot, he also knows what is required from a pilots perspective.


Rob Muilenburg
Aerodrome Electrical Inspector

Rob started with AMS in December 2012. His role is new to AMS and has been implemented following a real need that is lacking in the West Australian Aviation Industry. All aerodromes with fixed lighting need to ensure that the electrical equipment has been installed correctly, is being maintained correctly and is working correctly. This is usually completed by a site electrician. Aerodrome electrics are different to many other types of installations and Rob's role is to ensure that all is correct at the aerodrome. He performs Electrical Annual Technical Inspections, he also project manages installation and upgrade works and is available to provide consultation advice in regards to your aerodrome electrical needs.


Abdul Woren
AMS Refueller - Boolgeeda

Description TBA


Photo of David Clynk on minesiteDavid Clynk
Compliance Officer

David is going to start with Aerodrome Management Services Pty Ltd in February 2013.  We look forward to David starting and assisting Kate with all facets of aerodrome compliance. David will be assisting aerodromes with MOS139 compliance, Aerodrome Emergency Planning compliance, safety compliance, contract compliance and providing all the related advice  to these subjects.


Picture of Mal Turley with a fishMal Turley
Groote Eylandt - ARO / Refueller

Mal joined the AMS team in December 2012 on Groote Eylandt and is enjoying the challenges that come with working in a remote location. Mal performs the ARO and Refuelling functions and will be sharing the load with the hard working Wendy and Rob.  Mal has held a diverse range occupations from a 25 year career with Queensland Rails commencing as a porter and working his way up to 2nd in charge in an IT Operations team to working in a correctional centre performing the roles of quality and compliance auditing, sentence calculations and paroles to working in child protection and early childcare performing compliance auditing and some human resource functions.


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