Airport appoints new chief executive

David Laws has nearly 40 years' experience in the airport industry. (S)
David Laws has nearly 40 years' experience in the airport industry. (S)

There’s a new man in charge at the Harrogate District’s local airport.

Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has appointed David Laws as its new chief executive, following the retirement of John Parkin, who will continue as a non-executive director.

LBA is a major contributor to the economic development of the Harrogate District and the wider region, and new investment is underway to further improve and expand its operations.

David Laws was previously chief executive of Newcastle Airport for 10 years and has nearly 40 years’ experience in the airport industry.

He began his career as a trainee fireman at Newcastle Airport in April 1979 and went onto become fire officer, before becoming the airport’s safety adviser.

He held a number of roles in airport operations, before becoming commercial director responsible for the development of the Airline and Retail business, and then chief executive.

A former North East England Chamber of Commerce president, he oversaw significant growth during his 10-year stint as chief executive of Newcastle Airport.

He reportedly introduced a daily service to Dubai and was responsible for approving multi-million pound improvements at the site, including a £14m departure lounge.

Mr Laws said: “My passion is for airport development and ensuring that the customer journey is a truly great experience.

“I am excited about joining Leeds Bradford Airport to further improve, expand and develop the business and look forward to working with the team at Leeds Bradford Airport and all those involved from the airlines, stakeholders and partners to develop the next phase of the airport’s growth.”

Like Mr Law at Newcastle, Mr Parkin substantially developed Leeds Bradford Airport during his 10-year tenure as chief executive.

It now operates to over 70 destinations in 25 countries, has a direct link to Heathrow Aiport’s Terminal 5, and has grown passenger numbers by 6 per cent over the last 12 months to 3.7 million passengers.