Manchester Airport: new managing director Chris Woodroofe appointed to lead recovery from chaos

The ex-Gatwick boss’ appointment comes after the departure of previous MD Karen Smart in April.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has announced the appointment of Chris Woodroofe as the new Managing Director of Manchester Airport.

MAG said Mr Woodroofe was previously Chief Operating Officer at London Gatwick Airport from 2016 to 2020, where he oversaw a step-change in passenger experience and a major programme of operational improvements.

He joins from Chevron Traffic Management, where he had overall responsibility for operational performance and driving growth.

Mr Woodroofe is charged with turning round the beleagured airport’s performance, following months of passenger complaints about long queues and delays while the airport battles to boost its staffing levels to meet demand.

The previous MD Karen Smart stepped down on 5 April, after chaotic traveller experiences saw the airport hit national headlines.

Mr Woodroofe, who is originally from Widnes, will start in his new role on 15 June while interim MD Ian Costigan will continue to oversee the airport’s operational functions.

Advertisement

Mr Woodroofe said: “I’m delighted to be joining Manchester Airport as its new Managing Director, and look forward to working with the team to lead its recovery and drive the airport forward as the North’s global gateway.

“With the airport’s new Terminal 2 facilities and huge opportunities to attract new routes that enhance the North’s international connectivity, this really is an exciting time to be joining Manchester Airport.

“Having taken my first ever flight from Manchester Airport as a child, I am looking forward to relocating back to the region and can’t wait to get started.”

MAG’s Deputy Chief Executive Ken O’Toole said: “It is great to have someone with Chris’s aviation experience joining us as MD of Manchester Airport. We want customer service to be at the heart of everything we do, and with Chris leading the recovery, we’ve got the right team in place to deliver on that commitment.”

For the latest travel advice and daily updates on queues, see our guide here.