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Our people

Nearly 3,000 people work at Bristol Airport for around 50 different organisations, from commercial airlines to Government agencies such as the Border Force.

The Airport itself employs almost 400, headed up by a Leadership Team representing the major departments within the organisation.

The Leadership Team

Dave Lees, Chief Executive Officer

Dave Lees Portrait

Dave Lees joined Bristol Airport as its new CEO in August 2018, after several years as Managing Director of Southampton Airport, and previously as the Airport Operations Director and Planning and Development Director.  During his time as MD, Southampton achieved record growth in both passenger numbers and service level achievements. Dave has also had a successful aviation career across a range of roles at other UK Airports including; Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Dave has a BSc in Transport Management from Loughborough University where his passion for aviation developed.

He recently moved to the South West, and his interests include, travel, running, power boating and photography. 


Paul Davies, Operations Director

Paul Davies

Paul qualified originally as a Metallurgist with British Steel before training as an aircraft engineer in 1975. He spent 20 years in HM Forces before joining Bristol Airport in 1996.

During a period a rapid growth at Bristol Airport, Paul has ensured the airport remains one of the UK’s leading regional airports, overseeing a range of operational and safety improvements. In 1994 Paul was awarded the MBE for his work in aviation.

“Strong relationships with our business partners ensure we provide an efficient service to our airline customers,” he says.


Simon Preece, Commercial Director

Simon Preece

An experienced retailer with over 25 years experience in operational and commercial roles on the UK High Street, including a number of positions within the WH Smith Group.

Since joining Bristol Airport in 2005, Simon has been responsible for a number of major retail developments and has introduced a range of new national and international brands. He is also responsible for the commercial aspects of the airport’s car park business, property, advertising and ground transportation, including; car rental, bus and coach services and taxi provision.

Simon heads a commercial team with experience of high street and airport retailing, airport terminal and car park operations, property and public transport. He is responsible for commercial strategy and development, negotiations with business partners and the day-to-day performance of Bristol Airport’s commercial operations.

“Airports are exciting places, with a constant requirement to evolve and exceed customers’ expectations. Shops and restaurants play an important part in the passenger journey and we have plans to further enhance the retail experience at Bristol Airport as the airport develops,” he says. 


Andrew Goodenough, Development Director

Andrew Goodenough

Andrew is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager with 20 years experience. He has 11 years airport experience, having previously worked for TBI Airports managing capital expenditure projects in London Luton, Cardiff and Belfast International Airports, and is a Board Member for Constructing Excellence South West.

Andrew is responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of all development projects. Since joining the team he has delivered a large number of key projects including the construction of the Western and Central Walkways, West Apron Stands, Profred Hangar and the construction of World Duty Free in the Terminal. He has also set up construction frameworks for the development of Bristol Airport for the next eight years to ensure continuity of approach, enhanced safety, continuous development / shared learning and long term construction cost management.


Nigel Scott, Business Development Director

Nigel Scott

Previously Sales and Marketing Director with cleaning technology company, Kärcher, and a former European Marketing Director for Dyson, Nigel brings a wealth of international business experience to his role.

As Business Development Director, he is responsible for identifying new opportunities, strengthening marketing capabilities and partnerships, and enhancing Bristol Airport’s brand in the South West and beyond.

“As a resident of the South West, I understand the important role Bristol Airport plays in connecting the region with the world,” he says.


Simon Earles, Planning and Sustainability Director

Simon Earles

Simon previously worked at Heathrow, where he was most recently Planning and Policy Director. Prior to this, he was responsible for surface access to the Airport, leading on projects such as Crossrail, Western Rail Access and HS2. Simon brings over 16 years of experience in the aviation sector, having also worked for Luton Airport, and is a qualified transport planner.

As Planning and Sustainability Director, Simon will be considering how Bristol Airport can meet the challenge of serving the South West region’s demand for international connectivity in a way that is sensitive to the local community and environment.

“This is a great opportunity to join one of the UK’s most successful regional airports at an exciting time in its development. I look forward to bringing my experience of working with partners across the planning, environment and transport spheres to develop a truly sustainable future for Bristol Airport” he says.


Jason Clark, Chief Financial Officer

Jason Clark

Jason has strong Board level experience in finance positions, most recently as CFO for Condor Ferries, the main ferry operator to and from the UK and France to the Channel Islands.

Prior to this Jason worked for The Global Fund, a large non-profit organisation in Geneva, where he was responsible for the financial control of funds flowing to developing countries around the world in support of treatment and prevention of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. However, Jason has spent the majority of his career in the energy industry, working across Europe in finance and risk management roles for RWE, a global German energy company.


Debbie Hartshorn, People Director

Debbie Hartshorn

Debbie spent the early part of her career in operational management roles across a range of industries from financial services to toys, providing her with a strong commercial focus, and a pragmatic approach to people policies and strategies.

Having gained Chartered Member status with the CIPD in 2012, Debbie undertook a succession of interim and consultancy roles to further develop her knowledge and skills before joining the Airport in June 2017.

“People are key to the success of any business but in a 24/7 operational business, where safety, efficiency and service are paramount, you are completely reliant on the quality and commitment of your teams. We have a clear strategic goal to “create an inspiring, exciting workplace with creative and engaged staff and a high performance, collaborative culture”. My challenge is to ensure our People Strategy delivers on that, and that we work in partnership with all the teams across the Airport to assure our continued success, through building the right mix of skills, experience and behaviours.”