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There's a new man at the top of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, which controls 11 airports throughout the north of Scotland and Dundee.

The HIAL Board said yesterday (Tuesday May 30) that it was pleased to announce the appointment of Stewart Adams as Interim Managing Director. 

This follows the earlier announcement that the present Managing Director, Inglis Lyon, is stepping down at the end of this month (June 2023).

Stewart, who has a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience in the aviation sector both in Scotland and internationally, will join HIAL on 14 June 2023.  He has worked with both airlines and airport operators and was previously Chief Executive at Prestwick Airport and Loganair.

Lorna Jack, Chair of HIAL Board said: “We are delighted to have secured someone of Stewart’s calibre and experience to help us remain focused on our strategic priorities and ensure regulatory compliance while we completethe process for a permanent successor.”

“My announcement also signals Inglis’ last few weeks with HIAL, and on behalf of the Board I would like to thank Inglis for his contribution over the last 18 years and wish him well as he prepares for the next chapter in his life.”

Speaking following his appointment, Stewart said: “I am thrilled to be joining HIAL as Interim Managing Director.  Having worked in the aviation industry for over 40 years, I know only too well the vital role that HIAL’s 11 airports play in Scotland’s transport network.  The air connectivity and support their airports provide for lifeline and essential services are vital for local communities.

“I was born and still live in Aberdeen, so my roots are firmly in the north of Scotland. I look forward to working alongside the HIAL Board, the senior management team and the dedicated team that form HIAL.” 

Stewart worked for many years at Aberdeen-based BMI regional becoming Deputy Managing Director, then Managing Director and Accountable Manager for the airline. 

Stewart then moved to Singapore to join Tiger Airways as Managing Director and Accountable Manager in January 2011, staying there for over two years. He then returned to Scotland to take up the position of Chief Executive and Accountable Manager of Scottish airline Loganair in January 2013 until he left mid-2016 to form his own consultancy business.

After a short period of self-employment in aviation project management, Stewart joined Glasgow Prestwick Airport initially as their Interim Chief Executive Officer but ended up staying there for almost four years where he oversaw the turnaround of the previously loss-making business.