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Our people

Nearly 2,500* people work at Bristol Airport for around 50 different organisations, from commercial airlines to government agencies, like UK Border Force.

The airport itself employs almost 275*, headed up by an Executive Team representing the major departments across the business.

* These figures are accurate as at 2021, post-Covid following a reduction in the business.

The Executive 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.


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, Infrastructure Director

Andrew Goodenough

Andrew is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager with 25 years experience. He has 17 years airport experience, having previously worked for TBI Airports managing capital expenditure projects at London Luton, Cardiff and Belfast International Airports, and is also Chair of Constructing Excellence South West.

Andrew is responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of all development projects and the long-term maintenance these, providing a cradle to grave focus on investment. Since joining the team he has delivered a large number of key projects including the construction of the Western and Central Walkways, east and west Apron Stands, terminal extensions, multi-level car park, hangars and various commercial unit developments. Andrew has also designed and implemented a construction framework for the development of Bristol Airport for the future to ensure continuity of approach, incorporating enhanced safety, continuous learning and development and long-term cost management and a PMO to support this.


Simon Earles, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs 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.


Andrew Griffiths, Chief Financial Officer

Jason Clark

Andrew is an experienced finance leader and has most recently held senior finance roles in businesses operating across the retail, financial services, business services and marine sectors.

Prior to this Andrew spent 15 years at Manchester Airports Group, owners of Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands Airports, where he held a number of finance leadership roles including Finance Director for Manchester Airport, Finance Director for Group-wide Airport Operations and Group Financial Controller.

Andrew qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.


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. She joined the Airport in 2017 and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. 

“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.”


Graeme Gamble, Chief Operating Officer

Graeme Gamble, Chief Operating Officer

Graeme previously worked at NATS, the air navigation services provider, where he was responsible for air traffic control services at seven UK airports. Prior to this he spent two years with the Civil Aviation Authority as an aerodrome inspector and has also held key operational roles at London City Airport and Cardiff Airport.