Lift-off for Bournemouth Airport with new Managing Director

Previously Peel Airport’s Chief Executive Officer for Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Durham Tees Valley Airport, he was appointed following a rigorous selection process.

Mr Gill, who commenced his role on Thursday, 11th October, is responsible for the general management of Bournemouth Airport.

The appointment comes just 10 months after the airports management division of Rigby Group plc acquired Bournemouth Airport, with ambitions to drive growth across its operations, including doubling passenger numbers to 1.5 million over the next five years.

RCA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bell said: “Stephen Gill’s credentials shone through in a rigorous selection process – he is an accomplished businessman with exemplary skills in strategic management and leadership.

“Stephen has the experience, drive and know-how to deliver our strategic growth plans as we look to double passenger numbers to 1.5 million at Bournemouth Airport over the next five years.

“RCA is very encouraged by the support received from both the public and business community during the first 10 months of our ownership.

“With Stephen in the pilot seat, the airport focus will continue to be the delivery of the connectivity the region needs today, using existing airport infrastructure.”

Steve Rigby, Chief Operating Officer, Rigby Group plc, said: “Stephen has the track record and vision to grow commercial and passenger activity, leveraging the group’s scale, contacts and expertise in regional aviation to deliver continued progression.

“Key is to make use of existing capacity to satisfy the market - Bournemouth Airport is best placed to meet the demands of the wider region.”

Stephen Gill, Managing Director, Bournemouth Airport, said: "This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Bournemouth Airport, which is well supported by local passengers and the business community, bringing clear economic benefits to the region.

“The main objective will be to grow commercial and passenger activity at Bournemouth Airport, building on the substantial progress made since the RCA acquisition in December 2017.

“It has the runway length, terminal and passenger facilities to satisfy regional demand and is already home to very successful operations with Ryanair, TUI and other European and transatlantic operators.

“One of my responsibilities will be to support close working relationships with the business community and regional stakeholders, to deliver inward investment, enhanced connectivity and job creation.”

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We’ve always had a good working relationship with Bournemouth Airport and the adjacent Aviation Business Park. We warmly welcome Stephen Gill to one of Dorset’s key employment sites and economic assets.”

A number of exciting developments have taken place since new ownership of Bournemouth Airport, which currently serves more than 25 destinations.

They include the arrival of London Stock Exchange-listed Gama Aviation, a global business aviation services company.

Gama Aviation’s new maintenance, repair and overhaul operations at a 135,000 sq ft secure facility bring 150 new skilled positions, taking the aviation hub’s total employment figure to more than 2,000.

Separately, Ryanair announced a new route from Bournemouth to Prague, with a twice-weekly service commencing in April 2019, and Super Break introduced a range of new destinations.

Rigby Real Estate, Rigby Group’s Commercial Real Estate division, took over the running of Bournemouth Aviation Business Park, which is home to more than 200 businesses on a 80- hectare site adjacent to Bournemouth Airport, as part of RCA’s acquisition in December 2017.

Aviation Business Park is benefitting from the Bournemouth International Growth Programme’s £45.2 million infrastructure investment.

Funding was secured by Dorset LEP and is being used to boost employment and development around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.

Handling 2.3 million passengers with 215,000 flight movements and connecting directly to over 60 destinations across its operations, RCA has built a reputation as an efficient, safe and commercially-astute airport operator, driving improvements to route development, commercial revenues, operating costs and capital investment in order to deliver a consistently sound commercial return, leveraging significant buying power and shared expertise to deliver tangible benefits to airports across the UK.


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