Local leaders discuss Manchester Airport chaos as MD steps down

By Lisa James
Home » Local leaders discuss Manchester Airport chaos as MD steps down

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is expected to issue a statement today on the ongoing chaos at Manchester Airport.

Mr Burnham and other local leaders reportedly met with Manchester Airport bosses on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a way forward to address long queues, flight delays, missed flights and lost luggage.

It comes as Manchester Airport confirmed its Managing Director, Karen Smart, is to leave after two years in the job.

In a statement, parent company Manchester Airports Group said Ms Smart had decided to return to the south of England, where her family is based, to ‘pursue fresh career opportunities’.

MAG also announced that Ian Costigan will take on the role of Interim Managing Director and will be in charge of a recruitment drive that could be the key to solving the ongoing issues ahead of the summer.

Last month, Ms Smart warned passengers to expect on-going disruption over the next few weeks and the situation has worsened as passenger numbers have increased and COVID levels have hit staff numbers, which are already low because of recruitment problems.

It’s reported Mr Burnham has suggested police and fire and rescue staff could be drafted in.

Mr Burnham said: “I have been in touch with colleagues at Greater Manchester Police at the weekend to see what we can do to support the airport.

“It’s a difficult moment for airports around the world having laid low for the pandemic, they’ve had to scale up very quickly.

“But at the same time, we don’t want to see the scenes that we saw at the weekend and we obviously need to work with them to work through those issues and make sure we’re managing those things and giving the right information to the public and being clear about the plan to get things to an acceptable level.”

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