THE new commercial director of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has vowed to turn around its fortunes as his appointment was announced today (November 12).

Andy Foulds, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the transport industry, has described DTVA as “a success story waiting to happen” as his appointment was welcomed by airport chairman Robert Hough as proof the airport can make a significant contribution to the region’s growth.

The announcement was made as the airport played host to the UK Trade and Industry’s flagship national event held to launch the start of Export Week.

The passenger airport, which is making a loss, recently encountered a blow when its application for £5.9m from the Regional Growth Fund to create a massive freight terminal was turned down by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

However, the Government has since encouraged the airport to work with local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited to revisit the bid.

Mr Foulds has joined the airport from the Port of Tyne Authority where he has been commercial director for the past two years, playing a key role in its growth and expansion.

He has previously spent 18 years working across four continents in key roles with the international shipping group APMoller-Maersk, including spells in Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

Mr Hough said the appointment marked a step forward in the airport’s future and showed the commitment of airport owner Peel Holdings to making it a success.

“Andy’s appointment is a significant step forward and underlines our commitment to Durham Tees Valley Airport,” said Mr Hough.

“He brings a wealth of experience in the transport industry and an impressive track record.

“He recognises that a key challenge is ensuring that we work with partners to explore how we can maximise the potential for attracting the new business which is so important to ensuring the long-term viability of the airport.”

Mr Foulds said that one of his main tasks will be to strengthen links with the North-East business community.

“I will be leaving no stone unturned in seeking to maximise the opportunities for attracting new business, whether it be on the aviation side or in the wider development of the overall site,” he said.

“Of course, we all recognise that, in common with many other regional airports, Durham Tees Valley Airport has gone through a difficult time in recent years but I would not have joined the company if I did not think it could be brought back to health.”