Cardiff Airport board member Andrew Sargent stands down after serving two-year term

11:12, 6 April 2015 By Sion Barry
Andrew Sergent believes the airport is in good shape and welcomes the appointment of Roger Lewis as its next chairman

Non-executive of Cardiff Airport Sargent has stood down from the board after completing a two-year term.

He leaves after playing a key role in recent negotiations that has seen Flybe significantly expanding its routes at the airport – which is expected to add a further 400,000 new passengers over the next few years.

He was appointed to the board in 2013 following the acquisition of the airport by the Welsh Government for £52m, minus professional advisory fees, from Spanish firm Abertis.

Mr Sargent was appointed due to his expertise and strong track-record in change management and strategy in the airport sector.

He advised the Civil Aviation Authority on the introduction of NATS ( National Air Traffic Services), and later led the transformation programmes, post and pre-acquisition, at leading UK regional airports Bristol, Luton and Newcastle.

He said: “During the last two years I am proud to have been able to propose, initiate or influence a number of important enhancements to Cardiff’s operating strategy and structure.

“There are positive changes for all to see, not least of which are the improvements to customer service, operations, and the beginning of a long and much needed journey to reduce the cost base.

“All this must not only continue, but accelerate. However, I decided some weeks ago that two years was as much as I was prepared to give this and wrote to Welsh Government on March 30th to confirm that I did not wish my name to go forward for retention.”

Chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union Roger Lewis has been confirmed as the next non-executive chairman of the Rhoose-based airport.

He will take over from Lord Rowe-Beddoe in November.

Mr Lewis will have a direct input into the appointment of a new chief executive of the airport as well any new board members. All board members see their two-year terms expire this year.

The other non executives are David Goldstone, Geraint Davies, Margaret Llewellyn and Philip Ashman.

Mr Sargent said: “I welcome the announcement that Roger Lewis will be the new chairman and wish him and the airport team well.

“What Cardiff needs now is a combination of sound investment, tough decisions and belief in a clear, focused future as an integral part of the Welsh aerospace industry.”

The airport, which currently handles just over one million passengers a year, is operated by a holding company at arms length from the Welsh Government.

Sourced from walesonline


WRU chief executive Roger Lewis expected to be confirmed as the new chairman of Cardiff Airport

16:40, 20 March 2015 By Sion Barry
WRU boss Roger Lewis expected to be named as the new chairman of Cardiff Airport taking over from Lord Rowe-Beddoe

Chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union Roger Lewis is expected to take up a new role as chairman of Cardiff Airport in November, WalesOnline understands.

In what will be a ministerial appointment he will chair the holding company that operates the airport at arms length from the Welsh Government. An announcement is expected next week.

Mr Lewis will succeed Lord Rowe-Beddoe, who is expected to stand down after a two year term as chair. He was appointed following the Welsh Government’s £52m acquisition of the Rhoose-based airport from Spanish company Abertis in the spring of 2013.

Mr Lewis, 60, will stand down as chief executive of the WRU following the Rugby World Cup this autumn. He took up the role in 2006.

One of his first actions could be to help shape the look of the next non-executive board. As with Lord Rowe-Beddoe their two year terms will expire this year.

While some could remain, it will provide an opportunity to bring in new blood around the boardroom table and potentially more executive experience in the airport and airline sectors.
Lord Rowe-Beddoe will leave with the airport having recently been boosted after negotiating a major expansion of routes with airline Flybe, which is expected to add 400,000 passengers to the airport’s current annual number of just over one million over the next few years.

While having no previous aviation sector executive experience Mr Lewis has held a series of high profile roles, which as well as his current role with the WRU, include being a former managing director at EMI Records and president globally for the Decca Record Company.

He is also chairman of the Cardiff Capital Region advisory board.

The current non-executive board members of Cardiff Airport are Philip Ashman, Margaret Llewellyn, David Goldstone, Geraint Davies and Andrew Sargent.

Following the departure of chief executive Jon Horne last year, the airport is currently in the process of seeking to appoint a new chief executive.

The most senior executive currently at the airport is its interim managing director Debra Barber.

Speaking from Rome, ahead of Wales’s game tomorrow, Mr Lewis declined to comment.

The airport is continuing to hold talks with a number of airlines. High on its list of targets is securing a route into a hub airport in the Middle East, providing for connecting flights into the Far East and Australasia.

Possible candidates include Emirates. However, Cardiff is facing competition from its nearest rival Bristol Airport to land a new route into the Middle East.

The Welsh Government declined to comment when asked about Mr Lewis and chairmanship of the airport.

Sourced from walesonline