Nigel Scott is business development director at Bristol Airport in the United Kingdom, a new role introduced at the facility last summer. Previously sales and marketing director with cleaning technology company, Kärcher, and a former European marketing director for Dyson, he has a wealth of international business experience to which he is using to raise Bristol Airport’s profile as a major gateway for the south west of the UK.
What is your current job and responsibilities?
I’m business development director at Bristol Airport. The role involves the strategic and commercial development of the airline route network to meet the growing demands of Bristol Airport. To increase existing business and to look for new opportunities and business. It includes collaborating with other Leadership Team colleagues championing the passenger experience, working with airlines, updating key stakeholder and community groups and organisations and the marketing and digital strategy for a large regional airport. Bristol Airport is forecast to handle 8.7 million passengers this year, with planning approvals in place for 10 million passengers per annum. We have started to look towards our future and we are currently developing the Master Plan looking towards 2050 and being a 20 million passenger per annum airport.
Where do you call home?
I live on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is a fantastic location with easy access to Bristol and Bath.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Meetings, meetings and meetings! Building business relationships with a variety of key stakeholders, businesses, airlines and travel influencers which can be anywhere in the UK and Europe.
What are your main ambitions for the next 12 months in your role?
To provide continued and sustainable growth in the route network, and enhance the passenger experience.
What is the biggest obstacle currently influencing the UK airport business
Capacity of the UK Airspace. This summer the aviation industry has experienced flight delays across Europe and the UK, it needs a fundamental review. Every operator, (airlines, handling agents and airports) operate their business running an on-time schedule, when sustained delays happen this has a domino effect, causing on-going issues to all parties and ultimately impacting the passenger.
What’s the best and worst career advice you have been given?
Best? Understand the customer, you can work anywhere, in any industry. The best results are gained collaborating across the business. Worst? To ‘win’ at all costs. The best decisions involve collaboration with a win-win for all parties.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
I would love to swop jobs within an airline. I would like to see how they operate, it would give me an added personal perspective and in-depth knowledge of their side of the business. As airlines and airports jointly own the passenger journey, this insight would be invaluable and assist in the long term decision making process.
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What does the aviation business mean to you?
For me it all boils down to the passenger experience. It is not only about getting a passenger from ‘A’ to ‘B’. There are many reasons why passengers travel, we are in a global environment and the world is easily accessible, passengers travel for a variety of reasons including family events, holidays and business. If we think of passengers as a commodity, it is dangerous – there are more hugs and kisses per square metre at an airport, than in any other public building. This shows the added value of airports connecting families and businesses. It is at your peril, if you forget the personal impact of aviation, we need to maintain the unique feeling and ambience airports can provide to make people feel they are part of something special.
What book did you read last?
Barbara Cassini’s book ‘Go, An Airline Adventure‘. Which includes a whole chapter on Bristol Airport ‘Shipshape and Bristol Fashion’ a really interesting book on an airline’s development at exciting times in the aviation industry. Well worth a read.
What are your three most used words/phrases?
Passenger experience, sustainable growth, logical decision making
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
I always want to be calm, cool and collected, so hopefully Richard Gere could play the lead role.
What is your favourite aircraft type (current or old)?
The Boeing Dreamliner 787. It really is an amazing aircraft, it is great looking, is well thought out and with a design that uses the latest technology and innovation both inside and outside of the aircraft. We are very proud to have the Dreamliner operate out of Bristol to various locations including Florida, Mexico and Dominican Republic.
Window or aisle seat?
Window seat every time. Flying is about the experience of flying above the clouds and its take-off and landing. I still get a buzz every time I step on an aircraft.
Favourite flying tipple?
My favourite a German drink, Apfelschorle (a mixture of apple juice and sparkling water).
Favourite travel spot? Or where would you like to go on a dream vacation
Patagonia, I love the combination of sea and mountains.
Which four individuals, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most?
I have a strong interest in politics, to have Disraeli, Gladstone, Denis Healey and Nelson Mandela around a table would be fascinating – imagine the conversation!
What do you do to relax?
Either sailing in Weymouth, Looe or Lyme Regis, or walking and hiking in the Lake District or the Alps. I find the outdoors a great way of relaxing and enjoy the feeling being outside.
What keeps you awake at night?
Not much! I pack so much into each day it is always easy to fall asleep.
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
I like to keep myself fit, which started when I was younger at school. I am proud, I ran as part of the County cross country team, which was really, really helpful in appreciating fitness: this I have continued through my life. I enjoy being busy and active, life can drag you down, but keeping active and fit stops this happening.
People would be surprised if they knew?
I love audio books, as I spend so much time in the car, it is a way of listening to podcasts and stories, it helps me to focus. My secret pleasure is to listen to the Archers, but don’t tell anyone!
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