High flyer Richard Knight checks in as airport manager at Cambridge.

Wednesday 11th May 2011

Cambridge Airport has announced the appointment of Richard Knight, from the UK Defence Academy, as Airport Manager effective 23 May. In his new role Richard will take responsibility for all facets of the airport's operational infrastructure including security, fire, fuel, training services, FBO management and general airport operations. He will also have responsibility for managing the complex logistical preparations necessary to support the anticipated traffic increase expected from the Olympics and growth in civilian movements. He will report to Airport Director Archie Garden who has developed an impressive management team to implement the new commercial strategy for the airport since joining in January.

At the Defence Academy Richard was responsible for training and mentoring senior military commanders across a wide range of topics. He first joined the RAF as an apprentice and after three years he underwent officer training at RAF College Cranwell. Once commissioned he trained as a navigator on the Tornado F3, accumulating over 2,000 flying hours' on the type. He saw active service in The Balkans and Middle East and also served three years with the Royal Marines.

After a period working in the Ministry of Defence Richard was appointed Executive Officer of 25 Fighter Squadron in 2003, where he returned to flying the Tornado F3 and had the opportunity to lead the unit, both in the UK and overseas on military operations. Two years later he moved to High Wycombe to provide operational support to UK and overseas air operations. Here he was instrumental in the growth and development of the RAF's contribution to the UK's capabilities against 9/11 type threats, an experience that saw him become an expert advisor to the government during national emergencies.

Having completed an MBA from Bath University, Richard was given command of the Falklands' Mount Pleasant International Airfield during 2008. Responsible for managing the airport, and all associated services Richard drove and led a number of high profile initiatives that saw significant improvements in capability and operational outputs. The role also involved managing a disparate array of contractors, military and civilian workers to achieve common goals. His achievements and leadership skills resulted in his appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

"Cambridge Airport has evolved significantly since the first quarter of 2011 and we are pleased to appoint an airport manager who understands the need to manage change, develop new business, understands commercial activity and most importantly run the airport in a safe, secure and co-ordinated manner. Richard's extensive experience, his genuine passion for aviation and capacity to bring teams together, make him the perfect appointment for the airport," says Archie Garden.

Richard said of his new management role, "having spent a significant part of my career working within the military and civil service, the appointment at Cambridge Airport gives me the opportunity to combine my operational knowledge and leadership skills within a commercial environment. With Cambridge Airport's goal to become the aviation hub for the East of England this is an excellent time to be joining the team and I look forward to contributing to its growth," said Richard.


About Cambridge Airport:

Cambridge Airport is privately owned by the Marshall Group, a 100 year-old Group of Companies, which is owned and managed by the Marshall Family. The Marshall Group activities include Cambridge Airport, Marshall Executive Aviation, and Marshall Aerospace, focused on engineering and technology.

Cambridge Airport primarily targets the east of England market with a strong focus on Cambridge and its business, academic and industrial communities with an estimated 700,000 people living within the direct catchment area and another 800,000 living within an hour's drive of the airport.

A strong provider to the equine community Cambridge Airport is 10 miles from Newmarket and offers regular services for the transportation of horses.

Cambridge Airport is home to a variety of aviation service providers including charter operator Marshall Executive Aviation, MEA which operates a Cessna Citation Bravo and Citation XLS as well as a Bombardier Challenger 300.

Other aviation companies include Capital Air Services and several GA flight training operators. It is also home of the East Anglian Air Ambulance service operated by Bond Helicopters. A fully authorised Cessna Service centre is located at the airport.


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