Sara Hales

AD Comm

Director - Avistra


Avistra Director and Senior Consultant, Sara brings more than 20 years commercial experience including 15 years in infrastructure, logistics and aviation.

Known for her key role in Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport's construction and early operational phases, Sara led a number of commercial functions through the Airport’s rapid growth and diversification.

Quickly rising to the role of General Manager, where she was responsible for both the Commercial and Operational management of the Airport and its associated revenue streams, Sara developed an expert and unique broad view of the business including aeronautical revenue, non aeronautical revenues, ground handling contracting, security screening contracting, cargo terminal, airport restaurant, air craft refuelling and airline catering businesses.

Sara brings significant skills and a solid track record in commercial innovation and excellence, aeronautical and non aeronautical business growth and diversification. Sara’s experience in engaging with senior decision makers and stakeholders across airlines and network teams, tourism and economic advisory bodies, local, state and federal governments has been key to her success in driving real results for the businesses she has worked for and with.

Experience and Achievements

  • Diversified airport operations and developed new revenue streams
  • Route development and airline engagement in both passenger and cargo routes
  • Led the development of an International Air Cargo business at a Regional QLD airport
  • Over 5 years experience in airport management including General Manager and Commercial Manager roles
  • Managed ground handling, security screening, air craft refuelling, international cargo terminal, non aviation revenue streams and the airport itself, concurrently
  • Led innovative passenger and cargo demand stimulation strategies including deep community and industry stakeholder engagement and needs analysis
  • Significant operational cost reductions through increased utilisation and efficiency of human resources across multiple business units
  • Exceptional performance, safety and compliance leadership leading to improved client satisfaction, improved performance and reduced costs
  • Successful investment business case development, leading to both private and government investment in various airport projects
  • High level engagement with airlines, governments, media and other stakeholders to support growth of the airport business
  • Led airport teams to win national and international awards for Commercial Excellence and Innovation