Dominique Thillaud: New man at the helm at Nice-Côte d’Azur airports

After more than 40 years of service, 25 of them as General Director, Nice Airport’s Hervé de Place retired in September. Under his tenure, Nice-Cote d’Azur evolved from a single terminal, single runway airport into France’s second platform with traffic of over 10 million passengers a year directly to 105 destinations in 2011. De Place’s watch saw triumph and disaster with the 1979 collapse into the sea of what was then Europe’s biggest construction site resulting in the loss of 11 lives and a tidal wave which flooded much of Antibes. Not one to be beaten, he went on to oversee the ambitious and innovative expansion including the extension of Cannes-Mandelieu, the revamp of Nice Terminal 1, the construction of Terminal 2 and one of the first A380-capable airports in Europe.

Dominique ThillaudPhoto: CCIDe Place’s replacement is 43 year-old Dominique Thillaud (pictured) who started his management career with the BNP Paribas Group in Brussels before joining the corporate finance arm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In 1997 he worked in mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan Chase. In 2002 Thillaud entered the transport sector, becoming Director of Operations at SNCF before advancing his career by overseeing the national rail carrier’s development through cooperation with Eurostar, Thalys, Kéolis, iDTGV and Géodis. Since January of this year, he was
also chairman of SNCF Energy.

If Thillaud’s accomplishments are anything like those of his predecessor, he will be a vital player in the economic development of our region.