Aviation advice is our thing.  We are deeply immersed in the industry and have a demonstrated track record of success in delivering strategy, innovation, business growth and major projects. 

We are passionate about aviation and we know the industry, its people and its economic and commercial drivers intimately.  We are lucky to do something we love for a living.


Proud members of Freight and Trade Alliance and Australian Airports Association, we care about making a contribution to our industry. 


We are seasoned aviation advisors, airport managers and executives who are recognised for our pragmatic, rigorous approach, thought leadership, and innovative solution development.


AVISTRA's clients trust us for independent, objective advice. 


Clients trust AVISTRA to deliver the objective, data-driven guidance and insight required to inform their business strategies, allocate capital, prioritise resources, and manage risk. 


Typical projects include strategy and business plan development, operational performance improvement, and management support. 


AVISTRA is a boutique consultancy offering services to Australasia and islands of the South Pacific. Our extensive experience in infrastructure, freight and passenger route development in both emerging and developed markets gives AVISTRA a broad perspective and a well-rounded understanding of the industry from a regional and local perspective.


Our team knows what it is like to run airports and aviation operations.  We have run businesses, flown aeroplanes, prepared board papers and been judged by the results we bring to the table.  We have negotiated with airlines, governments and key stakeholders, and found new ways to lower operating costs, grow revenues and improve airport businesses.   

Sara Hales
Managing Director

Sara loves the role aviation fulfils in connecting people and communities to their biggest adventures, their brightest opportunities and their dearest loved ones. 

Having played a leading role in the early days of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, and project managing the establishment of the airport’s international cargo business, today Sara helps communities identify and bring to fruition, impactful aviation opportunities.   

After establishing the air freight business at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, Sara progressed to the role of General Manager where she was responsible for both the commercial and operational leadership of the airport and its subsidiary businesses.  


Sara’s experience in infrastructure development, aviation business development, strategy and negotiation, airport management and airport business diversification and growth make her insight sought after across the sector.   

Sara has provided advice and developed strategies across multiple commercial issues and in multiple markets across Australia.  


Sara is a recognised thought leader throughout the industry, with deep expertise in air cargo development and strategy.

Keith Tonkin
Consulting Director

Keith’s life has been aviation. From a young age he felt the calling to be a pilot, to experience the thrill of taking an aeroplane off the ground and having the freedom to move at speed in three dimensions.  

Keith served 15 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, first flying short-haul tactical transport and humanitarian operations in the Caribou then projecting Australia’s Air Power with the supersonic long-range F-111 in strike and reconnaissance roles.


Nine years of international and domestic airline operations followed, flying for Qantas in Classic B747-300/400 and B737-300, 400 and 800-series aircraft. 

Coupled with this extensive operational experience, of having to do things with aeroplanes that most aviators never need or get the privilege to do, Keith has numerous post-graduate qualifications that make his knowledge and expertise truly unique. These qualifications include an MBA (Aviation Management) and approval by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to conduct aerodrome safety inspections. 

Keith has the ability to think critically and formulate and articulate arguments based on relevant knowledge and understanding of key issues, enabling the development of practical solutions to complex problems. His advice is trusted, fearless and frank.  

And 35 years since entering the aviation industry, Keith’s passion still energises him to make a difference. 

Daniel Mellish
Specialist Consultant
Property & Finance

Daniel’s overarching principle is to simplify complex financial problems and concepts, which, as an approach, fits AVISTRA's philosophy perfectly. Daniel is a Chartered Accountant with 20 years experience gained in large Australian organisations including within real estate, ports, and airports.  

Commencing his career in external audit in a Big 4 accounting firm, he then spent 8 years in Macquarie Bank’s Real Estate Group, holding several senior finance and business positions, and involved in all aspects of accounting for, managing and assessing property investments and developments.


He then held senior finance positions including Divisional Financial Controller at Lend Lease Corporation and Mirvac Group, before moving into Transport and Logistics with Patrick Terminals and Logistics.  From 2015 to 2018 Daniel was the Financial Controller of Brisbane Airport Corporation.


Daniel excels at driving simple truths and valuable insights from complex and sophisticated data.