Baroness Margaret Ford of Cunningham (OBE) has been appointed as London Gatwick Airport’s new chair.
To date, Baroness Ford has chaired four public companies and acted as senior director on a further four. In addition, she has chaired several privately owned businesses and national government bodies, mainly in the infrastructure/regulated sector. She will step down from Deloitte in November 2023, having served on the European and UK boards and the global advisory board. She recently completed six years chairing the Challenge Board of the building renewal program at Buckingham Palace. She is a trustee of the British Olympic Association and Honorary President of Epilepsy Action. She sits as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords.
Baroness Ford will join London Gatwick in November and take over from Sir David Higgins, who has been chair since 2017. Sir David will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
Baroness Ford said, “I am delighted to be taking on this role and look forward to working closely with shareholders Vinci Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners, the airport CEO Stewart Wingate and the executive team. London Gatwick is an important piece of our national infrastructure and has exciting plans for the future. It’s important Gatwick continues to deliver good service levels, while working closely with all its stakeholders whether that’s on day-to-day operational plans or more strategically to facilitate long term sustainable growth and economic benefits for the region.”
Sir Higgins said, “I am proud to have helped steer London Gatwick through some significant moments in the airport’s recent history, and in particular during almost two years when international travel was severely restricted due to Covid. I’m pleased that London Gatwick is well on the road to recovery and has shown its confidence in bringing forward exciting long-term plans for growth. Baroness Ford is joining the airport at an important time and brings a wealth of experience. I look forward to continuing on the board and supporting Baroness Ford in achieving the airports vision as the airport for everyone, whatever your journey.”
Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of Vinci Concessions and president of Vinci Airports and Michael McGhee, deputy chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), said, “We are delighted that Baroness Ford has agreed to chair the board at London Gatwick. She brings a wealth of experience from across a number of sectors and her knowledge of infrastructure, construction and regulation will be a great asset. We also want to thank Sir David for his important contribution as chair for the last six years and are pleased that he will remain on the board as a non-executive director.”
Contracts issued to Crawley businesses
Gatwick has also announced that Crawley-based companies have been awarded contracts worth a combined total of more than £5m (US$6.2m) as part of the redevelopment of the North Terminal departure lounge.
BP Installations, based on Crawley’s Manor Royal trading estate, has been appointed as the principal contractor on the project. The role includes full site safety management, new electrical installation, new flooring and new information and display signage installations.
CCI Gatwick, also located on Manor Royal, will oversee the interior fit out and decorative finishes.
Alison Addy, head of external engagement and policy, London Gatwick, said, “Part of our procurement strategy at London Gatwick is to utilize the services of businesses across our local region where possible, supporting local people, making best use of local expertise, and reducing the environmental impact.
“We are delighted to have two local companies so heavily involved in the redevelopment of our North Terminal departure lounge.”
The North Terminal departure lounge is currently undergoing its biggest ever transformation. The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2024 and will see more than £10m (US$12.5m) invested in a multitude of improvements, including new flooring, contemporary seating with accessible power points, a sustainable planting scheme, local artwork and improved sightlines and wayfinding.
London Gatwick is investing in its long-term future and its planning application to bring the airport’s Northern Runway into regular use has recently been accepted for detailed examination by the Planning Inspectorate.