Manchester Airport appoints new Managing Director and head of digital division

Simon Austin's picture
Karen Smart

Manchester Airport has appointed a new Managing Director, as well as a new head of its digital division.

Karen Smart arrives as MD, having held the same role at East Midlands Airport, which is also part of the MAG group, for the past two years.

She will report into CEO Andrew Cowan and be responsible for the day-to-day running of the northern gateway.

Meanwhile, Brad Miller has been appointed Managing Director of MAG-O, Manchester Airport’s digital division. He has held a number of roles across MAG, including Chief Operating Officer, Programme Director of Manchester’s Transformation Programme and Chief of Staff.

Originally from Macclesfield, Smart joined MAG in 2014 and prior to her current role at East Midlands, was Director of Landside Operations at MAG’s other airport, London Stansted. 

Before this, she had a distinguished career in the RAF.

“It’s a hugely interesting and challenging time in the world of aviation and I feel privileged to take on this role at Manchester Airport,” Smart said.

“As the entire industry looks to recover from the global pandemic, I look forward to ensuring Manchester Airport once again plays its vital role of connecting the North to key international destinations, whilst keeping passengers and staff safe.

“Furthermore, as passenger volumes grow and we see a return to pre Covid-19 numbers, I look forward to ensuring our continued commitment to the environment and local communities, whilst creating economic opportunities to benefit the whole region.”

Miller added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my role at Manchester Airport over the last few years and it’s been a pleasure to see what the airport has achieved and delivered across the region.

“I’d like to thank the whole team, who have been a delight to work with, during more normal times and most recently through the pandemic. Their professionalism and commitment to ensuring passenger safety and the success of the airport is outstanding.

“I look forward to taking on my new role as Managing Director of MAG-O and driving forward our digital agenda.”