London City Airport lands FitzGerald as first female boss

London City Airport will on Thursday name its first permanent female chief executive as it targets approval of an expansion plan that would create nearly 1,500 jobs.

Sky News understands that the Docklands airport has told staff that Alison FitzGerald, who has been co-CEO since January alongside finance chief Wilma Allen, has landed the role.

Ms FitzGerald has worked at City Airport – the capital’s fourth-busiest – for more than a decade, becoming chief information officer and then chief operating officer.

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A woman wearing a face mask walks by London City Airport, which suspended its operations during the pandemic

She replaces Robert Sinclair, who left in January after six years to become boss of the High Speed 1 rail link.

The airport is owned by a consortium of Canadian pension funds and Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, which have backed a plan to increase its annual passenger traffic from about 6.5m to 9m.

It is appealing against Newham Council’s rejection of a planning application that would see it extend operating hours at the site, which is popular with City commuters.

The airport’s proposals include no increase in the annual number of flights and, in what it claims is a first for a UK airport, a commitment that only cleaner, quieter, new generation aircraft will be allowed to fly in any extended periods.

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The runway at London City Airport

The appeal is being reviewed by the Independent Planning Inspector.

Its change of leadership makes London City the second of the capital’s airports to name a new CEO in quick succession, following the arrival at Heathrow of Thomas Woldbye last year.

“London City delivers one of the best passenger experiences in the UK and I’m committed to building on this success even further,” Ms FitzGerald said.

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