By Ian McConnell

Andy Cliffe, a veteran of Manchester Airports Group who has most recently led the operator of the M6toll, is to succeed Derek Provan as chief executive of Glasgow and Aberdeen airports owner AGS.

He will take over the top job at AGS Airports, which also owns Southampton Airport, on January 1.

The company said Mr Cliffe has “extensive experience of the aviation industry”, having previously spent 19 years with Manchester Airports Group, where he served as a member of the executive committee. AGS noted, during his time with MAG, Mr Cliffe had been managing director of East Midlands and Bournemouth airports. He also held senior positions across functions including finance, operations, commercial, real estate development, strategy and corporate development.

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AGS added that, latterly, Mr Cliffe had been chief executive of Midland Expressway, operator of the UK’s “only major toll road”, the M6toll. It declared Mr Cliffe would work closely with the board, chaired by Lena Wilson, as it sought to build on its position “as one of the UK’s leading airport groups”.

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Mr Cliffe said: “I am relishing the opportunity of joining AGS and leading the group into the next chapter of its development. Having worked in the sector for almost 20 years, I fully recognise that the success of airports and the regions they serve is intertwined. Not only are they enablers for the success of other industries, they create much-needed employment and drive wider prosperity.”

Ms Wilson said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Andy on board in the new year. His track record within aviation speaks for itself, particularly his experience of leading and developing regional airports. I would also like to thank Derek for his commitment and leadership during his time at AGS.”

Mr Provan said: “I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to lead this fantastic business and to have worked with the dedicated and committed people who make AGS. I now leave the business in a strong position and in the hands of a very experienced and capable chief executive.”

In an exclusive interview with The Herald in July, revealing his decision to leave AGS, Mr Provan said he planned to move into “non-executive, business advisory-type roles”.

He said then: “This is my leave the business and I have to say it is probably one of the most difficult decisions I have made, primarily because the easiest decision would be to stay.”