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New BAA Scotland boss 'will keep battling for Glasgow'


Glasgow Airport has a new key ally at the very top of BAA Scotland, city leaders claim. Stephen Baxter, currenctly managing director of Glasgow Airport, has been named as the new boss of BAA Scotland. His appointment, announced yesterday, comes 3 years after he returned to his native city after a career in England and the US.

Friends insist Gorbals born Baxter will keep batting for Glasgow in his new job. Former Lord Provost Alex Mosson, who chairs the board of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said Baxter would find it impossible to forget his city roots.

Mosson said: 'I am sure we have got somebody batting for Glasgow at BAA. Stephen is from the Gorbals. He's a boy who has made sure Glasgow has been put firmly on the map. He has done a grand job. Now he'll do the same for the rest of the country. He'll ensure our airports get the flights that bring visitors to Glasgow and Scotland.'

Glasgow Airport was talked down for several years before Baxter took over in 2002. Charlie Gordon, the then leader of Glasgow City Council, voiced widespread concerns about its fate amid what Gordon saw as executive bias towards Edinburgh Airport. Baxter will now be in charge of both airports and BAA's smaller terminal at Aberdeen.

Under Baxter, Glasgow Airport has enjoyed steady growth - and several major new routes, including the flagship daily service by Middle Eastern airline Emirates to Dubai, new transatlantic services and the massive growth in Scots home-grown airline flyglobespan. Some of the new routes have been secured thanks to an alliance between BAA and Mosson's council-funded Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.

Baxter, who will replace Donal Dowds as managing director, will take up his new post at the New Year and will continue to be based in Glasgow. Dowds will be in charge of planning at BAA and also delivering a controversial second runway for London's budget flights hub Stansted.

Baxter said yesterday: 'I am excited to be taking on the challenge of running Scotland's key airports at such an interesting time for the business and for aviation in Scotland.'

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