Deputy Director, Airports Policy & Regional Connectivity


Birmingham, Leeds, London


About the job


The role-holder will accountable for:

• Immediate policy responses to ensure short-term recovery of the sector, including UK policies on sector sustainability and the steps Airports, regulators, Government and other stakeholders need to take to support this;
• Developing the policy vision and strategy for UK airports’ sustainability and investment into the medium and long term, reflecting recovery and different growth paths forward from COVID-19; the UK’s climate commitments; and how airports will deliver the UK’s economic priorities across trade and levelling up;
• Progressing the “making best use” policy for non-runway based growth and expansion at airports in the South of England. This will require engaging directly with the relevant airports on their expansion proposals; and driving and coordinating DfT’s policy enablers;
• Developing a strategy and policy toolkit for protecting and enhancing regional connectivity across airports and airlines;
• Working with sector stakeholders collaboratively to develop and deliver policy.


Job description

The role holder will work closely with the Deputy Director for the Airports National Policy Statement who is responsible for new runway based expansion including at Heathrow.

The role holder will lead and motivate a team of c. 25 people You will be a part of the senior management team for a directorate c 150 staff.


Your leadership role will be critical in growing and nurturing a high-performing, diverse and inclusive team; motivating and engaging team members across the Directorate, supporting their development and managing performance against a background of a high profile and political programme.

You will also be responsible for ensuring that these critical programmes have the right resources, skills and partners.

You will lead relations and develop policy collaboratively and innovatively with a range of stakeholders including Airports, Airlines (as customers of airports), investors, Local and Devolved Administrations, business groups and regulators.

The roles will involve working in close partnership with wider DfT colleagues and HMT. The role holder will also need to work closely with colleagues in the sister aviation Directorate to manage the interdependencies between wider policies including climate change and airport expansion. You will also work closely with the Secretary of State and Aviation Minister, their offices and Special Advisers.

Personal Specification:

It is essential in your supporting statement that you provide evidence and proven examples against each of the selection criteria below as far as you can. These responses will be further developed and discussed with candidates invited for interview.

Essential Skills and Experience:

We are looking for a Deputy Director who is capable of progressing complex policies and programmes with energy and pace; can deal flexibly with uncertainty and change; adeptly work with external and Whitehall partners to deliver outcomes collaboratively; and excel at leading and building high performing teams. The successful candidate must therefore be able to demonstrate their capabilities and experience in the following areas:

Proven ability to develop and implement policy in a complex, high profile environment deploying exceptional policy, strategy and analytical skills to address complex commercial and economic challenges;

• Outstanding leadership skills and exceptional emotional intelligence with the ability to of build diverse, highly-motivated, engaged and inclusive teams; develop talent, and lead people through transformational change;

• Project and programme management skills in delivering policy outcomes efficiently using governance, project and risk tools;

• Strong communication and collaboration skills, working with, negotiating and influencing external partners, stakeholders, investors and businesses at the highest level to deliver successful outcomes; and working effectively across Whitehall and with the centre, building credibility quickly at the highest level.

• Excellent commercial and financial skills, with a strong understanding of infrastructure and/ or transport programmes;


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits.

This includes:
- a generous annual leave entitlement,
- attractive pension options,
- flexible working,
- good career development opportunities,
- a variety of career paths,
- inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Apply now!