Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

He's Taking off after 37 Years at City's Airport

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

He's Taking off after 37 Years at City's Airport

Article excerpt

Byline: Keiran Southern Reporter keiran.southern@trinitymirror

NEWCASTLE Airport chief executive David Laws has announced he is to step down after 37 years' of service.

Mr Laws, who started at the airport as a trainee firefighter, has spent the past 10 years in the top job.

The 58-year-old revealed he will join AMP Capital as a part-time senior adviser in its international airports business.

The airport's chief financial officer Nick Jones will take temporary charge on May 1, before an external search for the permanent role begins.

In a statement, Mr Laws said: "I would like to thank each and every one of you for the fantastic effort and support you have given me especially during my time as chief executive. I firmly believe that together we have in recent years achieved a lot and ensured that the airport is seen in the region as one of the biggest success stories and long may that continue.

"There is an old saying that it's good to sometimes get out at the top! I firmly believe that the foundations we have built will only mean one thing and that is for this airport to reach new heights.

"As you can imagine I have lots of memories after 37 years from my time as a trainee fireman, right through to my current role as chief executive and for the most they are indeed very happy memories for me to reflect on."

Mr Laws joined the airport as a trainee fire officer, before becoming head of health and safety, head of HR, head of operations and finally chief executive.

The football coach and referee has overseen a series of improvements at the airport, including flights from Newcastle to New York, a new airside departure lounge and connections to Dubai.

He added: "In the meantime I am around until the end of April, and I look forward to saying goodbye to as many of you as I can. Finally may I wish you all a fantastic future. Please continue to keep this Airport in the region's limelight for all of the good things you do.

"I know I am leaving this wonderful airport in safe hands and I look forward to reading all about its future successes as you take it to new heights! So good luck and once again thank you for all your loyalty and support."

Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, the lead authority for the LA7 airport consortium, led the tributes to Laws. He said: "Davie has been an excellent chief executive of Newcastle Airport and I would like to thank him for everything he has done for our region during his many years of service. Davie will be missed but he leaves a strong legacy and I look forward to seeing the airport build upon that legacy in the future."

David Rees, partner and head of asset management at AMP Capital, said: "Davie has made an outstanding contribution to the airport and the region and I would like to offer him my sincere thanks and appreciation for building such a strong, successful business. …

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