Below is the latest copy of the 2018 AOA Annual Conference Agenda – additional speakers are confirmed regularly so do check back for updates. The AOA Annual Conference will be moderated by journalist and broadcaster Mishal Husain, who will welcome some of the most prestigious names in aviation. The theme of this year’s conference is the ‘Airport of the Future’ and all of our sessions are geared towards looking to the horizon and understanding future challenges.

Monday 29 October 2018

09:00   Registration, networking and exhibition opens

10:00   Welcome & Introduction – Ed Anderson, Chairman, Airport Operators Association                         

10:10   Keynote speech: Senior Government Transport Minister

10:50   Keynote speech: Senior Opposition Spokesperson

11:15    Panel discussion: Meet the new airport CEOs

With a number of new faces in the UK’s airport scene, we thought it would be a good idea to hear from them. The discussion will bring some fresh perspectives as to where the sector is heading and how these individuals hope to lead their businesses through the uncertain times ahead. Speakers are:

  • Derek Provan – CEO, AGS Airports
  • David Lees – CEO, Bristol Airport
  • Karen Smart – MD, East Midlands Airport
  • John Irving – CEO, Liverpool Airport

12:00   Lunch 

13:15    Scene-setter: An Aviation Market Commentator

13:40   Panel discussion: A Growing Aviation Market

Prominent movers and shakers from airlines, airports and the travel industry will discuss the changing dynamics in the market, changing travel patterns among passengers, new entrants into the aviation ecosystem and the infrastructure needed to support growth and innovation.

  • Stewart Wingate – CEO, Gatwick Airport
  • Andrew Bell – CEO, Regional & City Airports
  • Bob Schumacher – Managing Director UK & Ireland, United Airlines
  • A Senior Travel Industry Representative
  • A Senior UK Airline Representative

14:40   Coffee

After the coffee break, our focus will be on the passenger experience of the future: airport CEOs, consumer groups and businesses involved in aviation security and retail will address the experience at the border of the future, what new retail offerings will be available to passengers and how passengers with reduced mobility will be accommodated.

15:10   Scene-setters: Jenny Willott – Chair, CAA Consumer Panel (Invited)

15:30   Panel discussion: The passenger experience of the future

  • Nick Barton – CEO, Luton Airport
  • Robert Sinclair – CEO, London City Airport
  • Airport retail specialist
  • Jenny Willott, Chair, CAA Consumer Panel (Invited)

16:15    Keynote speech: Government Minister

16:50   Networking and exhibition                        

17:30   Day 1 close

19:00    Pre-dinner drinks reception                      

20:00   The AOA Annual Awards Dinner 2018    


Tuesday 30 October 2018

09:30   Keynote speech: CEO of NATS, Martin Rolfe on the airspace of the future

10:00   Scene-setter: progress on sustainability to date – Karen Dee – CEO, Airport Operators Association

10:10   Panel discussion: sustainable airports

In this session, industry leaders will outline their views on how we can reduce on-airport emissions, incentivise the electrification of infrastructure, and adapt to the increasing effects of climate change. How passengers travel to the airport, and whether they can do so more sustainably, and what innovations could captivate the sector in the future are also subjects for debate.

  • Neil Robinson – Chair, Sustainable Aviation
  • Gordon Dewar – CEO, Edinburgh Airport
  • Lord Deben – Chair, Committee on Climate Change
  • Paul Everitt – CEO, ADS

11:00   Coffee

11:30   Panel discussion: The workforce of the future – skills & diversity

Now we have a clear idea of how the airport of the future will look like, this panel session will look at who will be working in the sector to make this future a reality. We will discuss training the next-generation of pilots, engineers and air traffic personnel, the impact of Brexit on the skilled employment market in aviation, and what can be done to close the gender pay gap and increase diversity in aviation. There are changing skills required around aerodromes as AI & automation, space flight & satellite launch and drones all make their mark on the sector.

  • Ken O’Toole – CEO, Stansted Airport
  • Al Titterington – MD, Cornwall Airport Newquay
  • A representative from the manufacturing industry
  • A representative from academia

12:30   The Discussion: where next for Heathrow expansion?

  • Emma Gilthorpe – Executive Director Expansion, Heathrow Airport

13:15   Big Interview: A Senior Government Minister

13:40   Closing remarks: Ed Anderson – Chairman, Airport Operators Association

13:45   Lunch, networking & exhibition

14:45   Day 2 close