LEEDS Bradford Airport has appointed David Laws as its new chief executive.

He succeeds John Parkin who is retiring, having substantially developed the airport during the last decade.

The airport now operates to more than 70 destinations in 25 countries and has grown passenger numbers by six per cent over the last 12 months to 3.7 million passengers.

Mr Parkin will continue as a non-executive director.

Mr Laws was previously chief executive of Newcastle Airport for ten years and has 39 years’ experience in the airport sector.

He began his career as a trainee fireman at Newcastle Airport in April 1979 and went on to become fire officer, subsequently becoming the airport’s safety advisor.

He held a number of roles in airport operations, before becoming commercial director responsible for the development of the airline and retail business and then chief executive.

He said: “My passion is for airport development and ensuring that the customer journey is a truly great experience.

"I am excited about joining Leeds Bradford Airport to further improve, expand and develop the business and look forward to working with the team and all those involved from the airlines, stakeholders and partners to develop the next phase of the airport’s growth.”