Leighton has worked for twenty three years in airline aircraft maintenance. He is a licensed maintenance engineer on Airbus, Boeing and turbo-propeller aircraft. He also has completed an aviation business management degree.
Leighton has performed multiple roles as a senior engineering manager for the last thirteen years. He has previously worked for a major airline and Australia's largest independent aviation maintenance organisation. His current role is as the Head of Engineering for Skytraders, a private charter company who hold long-term contracts with the Commonwealth Government, to provide air transport between mainland Australia and its Antarctic territory. During the Antarctic off-season Skytraders uses its long-range Airbus A319s, to provide air services in support of other Australian government agencies and also in the commercial air charter market.
Leighton has been involved with the MAF Australia board since 2002 and was previously chairman from 2008 to 2010. He has consulted to the MAF International Safety Committee since its inception and has been the chairman of the Safety Committee since 2011. He has been a member of the MAF International Board since 2011.
Leighton is married to Sally and they have two sons. The family live in Melbourne, Australia and worship at the New Hope Baptist Church. Leighton enjoys time with the family, camping and reading.
Leighton was born in Papua New Guinea to missionary parents. His family relied on MAF services for 15 years in remote PNG communities.