The UK Aviation Conference to take place on Monday & Tuesday – more top speakers added to line-up

The UK Aviation Conference, organised by the Airport Operators Association, the trade body representing more than 50 UK airports, in association with BATA, BAR UK and the Royal Aeronautical Society, will take place on Monday and Tuesday next week, at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London.

The conference will see airports, airlines, aerospace and business and tourism groups coming together to discuss the key aviation and aerospace issues of the day. The speaker line-up includes Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group; John Holland Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport; Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport; Paul Drechsler CBE, President of the CBI; and politicians including Robert Goodwill MP, Aviation Minister; Lilian Greenwood MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, and Keith Brown MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure. Two new speakers have also been added to the rostrum this week – Jim McAuslan, General Secretary of BALPA, and Bob Schumacher, MD UK & Ireland, United Airlines.

The conference will be moderated by renowned ITN news anchor and presenter Natasha Kaplinsky, and the separate Awards Ceremony on the evening of the 23 November will be hosted by Independent journalist and well-known travel broadcaster and writer Simon Calder. Further details can be viewed here, at

The full speaker line-up is now as follows (in appearance order): Willie Walsh, International Airlines Group, Chief Executive; Paul Drechsler CBE, CBI President; Jim McAuslan, General Secretary, BALPA; Robert Goodwill MP, Aviation Minister; Debra Barbra, Cardiff Airport, Managing Director; Tim Hawkins, Manchester Airports Group, Corporate Affairs Director; Paul Kahn, Airbus Group UK, President; Martin Rolfe, NATS, Chief Executive; Andrew Swaffield, Monarch Airlines, Chief Executive; Stewart Wingate, Gatwick, Chief Executive; Keith Conradi, Air Accident & Investigations Branch, Chief Inspector; Sir Michael Arthur, Boeing UK & Ireland, President; Keith Brown MSP, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment & Cities; Carol Benzie, Aberdeen International Airport, Managing Director; Ufi Ibrahim, British Hospitality Association, Chief Executive; Sophie Dekkers, Easyjet, UK Director; Bob Schumacher, MD UK & Ireland, United Airlines; Deirdre Wells OBE, UKinbound, Chief Executive; Lilian Greenwood MP, Shadow Transport Secretary; and John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow, Chief Executive.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said: “On behalf of all the conference partners, we’re delighted to have secured such a stellar line-up of speakers, and we’re looking forward to a great couple of days debating the key issues of the day. At a time when many UK airports and airlines are reporting record passenger numbers, and with the Government due to respond to the Airports Commission Final Report on growing capacity and making best use of existing capacity imminently, this is a fantastic time to be debating all things aviation and aerospace. In addition, we expect discussion on issues such as the impact of a planned Scottish reduction in APD, tourism, security and safety, and the contribution aviation and aerospace makes to the crucial agenda of “Connecting people, jobs and the economy” whilst also delivering on environmental impacts. It is a fascinating time to be involved in the sector, and we’re really excited to be bringing together senior players from across aviation and aerospace for what is sure to be an informative and entertaining couple of days.”