What passenger experience initiatives are you running and what technology are you deploying to try and make their journey as seamless, and also predictable, as possible?
Making the journey through check-in to airside as smooth and efficient as possible has been a key aim. We’ve invested in a C3 X-ray baggage scanner to make the journey through security even faster as passengers can leave electronics and liquids in their bags. We also refurbished an additional boarding gate to serve passengers taking advantage of Ryanair’s summer holiday flights.
What are you doing to diversify your revenue streams?
There is plenty going on at the wider airport. The airport has been included in the Teesside Freeport which brings benefits other hubs simply don’t have when it comes to stamp duty, customs benefits and business rates. This also ties into the airport’s £2.5 million cargo facility which opened at the end of August.
We’ve got a business park taking shape at the southern end of the airport site with 3.4 million ft² of flexible office, logistics and commercial space across 270 acres.
Draken Europe is set to expand its operations with a second hangar, and aviation giant Willis have plans for a £25 million Aircraft Maintenance Facility and Jet Centre.
We’re working hard on building our freight capabilities and accelerating our ambitions to develop sustainable aviation fuel. Additionally, we’re looking at bringing a lot of our services in‑house.
What are the most exciting developments happening at the airport next year?
Freight: the facility is there, but we can now really start to implement our strategy. The groundwork has gone in, but now we can get it up and running. Our plans and ambitions for sustainable aviation fuel are also at the cutting edge, and the development of the South Side Business Park is really starting to ramp up.
We’ve got a rich chemical industry in Teesside and we want to develop our plans to be the world’s first airport developing its own sustainable aviation fuel.
What’s on your to-do list as Managing Director for 2023?
To get the airport back into profitability, grow our passenger numbers and freight volumes, and to create more jobs for local people. We’re also looking to reduce our carbon footprint, which really ties into our sustainable fuel plans.
Phil Forster began his career in aviation in role of Media & Public Affairs Manager at Newcastle Airport. After spending three years at the northeast airport, Forster moved to Leeds Bradford Airport firstly in the role of Aviation Development & Corporate Affairs Manager, before progressing to become the airport’s Head of External Affairs.
Forster led the airport’s public affairs strategy, including lobbying on aviation strategy and capacity and was heavily involved in the airport’s aeronautical and commercial operation, aimed to put customer experience at the heart of the business strategy while boosting the airport’s international connectivity.
He joined Teesside International Airport as Commercial Director in 2019, before taking on the role of Managing Director in 2020. He is responsible for overseeing Teesside International and its redevelopment plans, to ensure the airport is ready for the expected increase in passenger numbers resulting from securing new domestic and holiday services.