Following a spell as commercial finance director and interim managing director, Karen Taylor has taken up the pivotal role of MD at Gloucestershire Airport on a permanent basis.
According to the airport, Ms Taylor will help develop a long-term vision for the Staverton business as it seeks to continue to position itself as a key supporter of the county’s economy.
Since its owners, Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council, established the arms-length company it is has become not just a travel gateway, but home to a spread of businesses from engineering, aerospace, plus charter flights to flight training, and pleasure flights.
‘I firmly believe we have a strong foundation to develop the airport into a ‘gateway for growth’ for the many significant developments being brought forward across the region; a destination of choice providing connectivity to and from national and international destinations; and a centre of excellence for all aspects of business aviation, aviation training and other related activity,’ said Karen Taylor.
For so long a political hot potato for the local authorities, since becoming an arms-length company the airport has managed to position itself as a valuable asset and key supporter of the county’s economy – and there are more exciting plans are afoot.
GFirst LEP on site to encourage more businesses to call it home and its close proximity to the cyber development at Golden Valley and Gloucester’s digital campus, The Forum, puts it in a good position to continue to capitalise.
Ms Taylor was key in securing a deal which saw £15 million of funding announced in December 2020 for runway improvement and other ‘critical works’ that aim to boost the airport’s potential.
The airport has a long-term vision for growth as a sustainable business and is embarking on a programme of activity that will create around 1,520 new jobs and enable airport improvements.
This includes the new CGX Connect business park development, which has been submitted for planning consent to Tewkesbury Borough Council.
Ms Taylor said: ‘Business growth at the airport means more choice and better services for existing airport users and will encourage individuals and businesses from across the region to realise the value of having a regional airport they can use for business and leisure right on their doorstep.’
By Andrew Merrell