This opportunity has now been filled

Chief Executive Officer

About the role

Glasgow Prestwick Airport are delighted to announce year on year growth of 46% and a £3m operating profit as they continue to re-establish themselves as a vital strategic provider of international freight and aviation services, and a major infrastructure asset which benefits the Scottish economy.

With Revenue up to £36m this year, a strong balance sheet and cash position, and a growing freight and aviation services business, current Chief Executive Stewart Adams has plans to retire at the end of 2020.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis GPA’s specialist freight services have been involved in the welcoming and handling of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in Scotland and the Board are committed to continuing “to investigate opportunities to further develop the business under its current ownership but also with an eye to future ownership as part of a markedly different global aviation industry”.

The airport is owned by TS Prestwick Holdco, a private limited company wholly owned by the Scottish Government and the medium to long term plans are to sell the business back to private ownership in the best deal for the Government whilst retaining its place as a key asset of importance to Scotland’s national infrastructure.

Situated on the beautiful coastline of Ayrshire, Glasgow Prestwick Airport (GPA) is proud to be the longest serving commercial airport in Scotland offering a diverse range of services as a 24/7 operational Airport covering 880 acres.

GPA is a non-typical secondary / regional airport. It does not focus on any one revenue source or segment in the aviation market. Its business is derived from contributions across a range of commercial activities, including; passenger services, freight, military, maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO), fixed-base operations (FBO), fueling and commercial letting.

And whilst performance this year has been exceptional in the circumstances and that GPA was very much on an upward trajectory in terms of profitability before the global pandemic, it is inevitable that the future revenue and profits would be affected due to the impact of coronavirus. Especially given that even before the pandemic, the financial performance was being hampered by declining passenger numbers and revenue, resulting in investment and focus elsewhere and the continuation of diversification of services. These pressures and continued diversification will be the key priorities and challenges faced by the new CEO.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Non-Executive Chair, the CEO will have a central remit for all aspects of the airport’s commercial, safety, operational, cultural and financial performance; they will drive change leadership with an eye to the medium term as well as the short and the multi-dimensional stakeholder relations.

Essential criteria for the role will be the ability to demonstrate strong change leadership and a track record of successfully driving and implementing a transformational agenda needed to achieve sustained profitability.

In fact, the current CEO and Board have already developed a strong foundation and strategy for sustainable profitability, by focussing on becoming a specialised aviation services operator, and therefore it is crucial the incoming CEO builds upon this to drive significant profitable growth and enhanced value in the business and assets.

As the leader of GPAL’s Executive team, you will be accountable for the development and achievement of the strategic goals and objectives of the company.

Experience Requirements

  • A track record of leadership success and solid delivery in the commercial, financial, people and operational aspects of aviation services is the most desirable. However similar experience in infrastructure management, freight, logistics, transportation and possibly military could be suitable alternatives.  It is preferable for the candidate to bring global experience.
  • Experience of growing a business to establish new profitable revenue streams with tight financial margins and facing constant financial/trading challenges.
  • Experience of leading and negotiating complex commercial contracts.
  • Experience of leading a diverse management team with many disciplines in a hands-on way and successfully growing the team to be more commercial and adept at managing the conflicting demands and priorities of a 24/7 business in a safety/security environment with multiple stakeholders.
  • Experience of leading good governance/risk management practices in a highly safety and security focussed company.
  • Experience of building strong relationships and applying effective communication approaches across multiple levels from internal senior leaders to front line employees; from external top-level stakeholders such as government ministers to commercial partners and external media.
  • Experience of building good quality relationships with a company board.
  • A strong track record of creating a high-performance culture to drive continuous improvement, flexibility, agility and delivery of quality results.

Personal Qualities

  • A highly results driven leader who can orchestrate the demands of multiple stakeholders and the differing financial, commercial, operational, people and cultural priorities with ease and balance.
  • Commercial cunning and well-honed negotiation skills.
  • Bright, good judgement, decisive, fast paced, collaborative, street-wise with gravitas, humility and maturity.
  • Self-aware, candid about strengths and weaknesses, keen to learn and grow.
  • Combines commercial capability with strong prioritisation, execution ability and recognises the criticality of safety, governance, and risk management in the airport environment.
  • Emotionally resilient, able to lead under pressure with calmness, manages conflict with ease/subtlety, highly self-sufficient with energy and pace.
  • A broad suite of influencing and communication skills to successfully manage the broad range of differing stakeholders including Board members, government ministers, civil servants, possible new owners, commercial partners, employees and the media.

Given the challenging Covid-19 situation we are open to discussing flexibility with regards to location.

More Information / How To Apply

Further information is available by requesting the full candidate brochure or arranging an initial confidential conversation with Michael Dickson at FWB Park Brown.

To apply please send your CV and current remuneration details to Michael Dickson at FWB Park Brown at, or call Michael to confidentially discuss further on 0131 539 7087.