A FORMER Newcastle Airport senior official is looking forward to helping another base take off after starting a fresh role.

Chris Sanders has joined Leeds Bradford Airport as aviation development director, where he will work alongside former Newcastle chief executive Dave Laws.

Mr Sanders brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously spent 18 years at Newcastle Airport, with his most recent role being that of aviation development director.

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Before moving to Newcastle, Mr Sanders began his career at British Airways, working in its network planning, revenue management and information management departments.

He then worked in the UK rail industry for InterCity.

At the time of rail privatisation, he moved to York to work on the East Coast route, with his final position being commercial manager for GNER.

Speaking about his new role, he said: “I am delighted to join the team at Leeds Bradford as the airport continues to celebrate record passenger numbers.

“Of course there is room for improvement, but that is the exciting phase this business is embarking upon under the leadership of Dave.

“I look forward to making sure we continue to improve for business and leisure communities.

“The more this airport is used then the easier it becomes to grow existing routes and attract new services, which will help increase connectivity.”

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.

Mr Laws, who took over at Leeds Bradford earlier this year, said Mr Sanders will be a valuable member of the team as he presses on with his plans to improve the airport.

He added: “I am delighted to welcome Chris as we continue our development.

“I have worked with him for a number of years and know he shares my passion for aviation development.

“Our aim is to ensure we offer the very best choice of destinations for both business and leisure passengers.”