"Sustainable growth" the goal for new Blackpool Airport manager

Stephen Smith, the new manager of Blackpool Airport
Stephen Smith, the new manager of Blackpool Airport
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The man who helped pilot recent major investment and infrastructure improvements at Carlisle airport has been taken on at Blackpool as airport manager.

Stephen Smith brings more than 13 years of aviation industry experience to the post and more than 20 years’ experience within the leisure, travel and tourism industry.

He joins Blackpool Airport from Carlisle Airport, where he was airport manager, and has held previous roles with Liverpool John Lennon Airport and TUI Airlines.

His most recent experience saw him steering through a major programme of capital investment and infrastructure improvements at Carlisle Airport.

Stephen’s arrival at Blackpool comes as the position of airport manager has been enhanced to a full-time role, recognising the airport’s ambitions to grow its operations and play a key role in the development of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

He said: “This is an exciting time to be joining Blackpool Airport as we look to implement a strategy for sustainable growth at the airport.

“We want to build on our established position as an important regional hub and work closely with Blackpool Borough Council to ensure the airport helps drive the success and economic opportunities offered by the Enterprise Zone.”

Regional & City Airports, the airport management division of Rigby Group plc, manages Blackpool Airport on behalf of owners Blackpool Borough Council.

Blackpool Airport has a long history, dating back to 1909, as one of the first aviation sites in the UK.

Airline Jet2.com was forced to shut down all holiday flights from Squires Gate when owner Balfour Beatty closed the airfield and terminal in 2014.

Today the airport is a thriving airfield supporting helicopter services to off-shore installations and extensive general aviation operations.

In 2016 Enterprise Zone status was awarded to the Blackpool Airport site with a commitment to its long-term use as an aviation hub in addition to transforming the area into a key employment site.