Head of Airports job in London

Head of Airports | OC2 Executive Search Limited

Head of Airports

Our client is a leading UK Structural Steel Contractor providing turnkey solutions on some of the most complex and technically challenging steel structures Nationally.  They possess a strong reputation for constructional engineering excellence and are recognised as one of the fastest growing businesses in their sector by Fast Growth 50.  They have won accolades which include ‘start up of the year’ and ‘SME of the year’ at the Constructing Excellence awards.  Led by 2 high profile, heavily experienced professionals, the opportunity to work directly with them is unique.  With plans to further develop the business, this progressive operation has identified a need to acquire a talented professional who can help the business achieve further growth, specifically in the aviation/airport sectors.  This presents the appointed candidate with the opportunity to build an entirely new division for the client and recruit/build a team that can win and deliver new projects. The role requires a Senior professional, who will become part of the key management team, to take control of identifying, winning and delivering all projects specifically in aviation/airports.  This is a P&L accountable role and requires a manager with extensive operations experience who knows their way around airports, Nationally. Experience must include a demonstrable track record of winning work for a specialist subcontractor or tier one contractor in the Airports sector.  A network that can be leveraged is critical for success in this role and candidates will be expected to discuss this at interview e.g. established contacts in the Tier 1 airport contractors, consultants, the airports directly and end users situated on the assets. 

The position will require a visionary to primarily take the lead role in forward business planning whilst delivering existing commitments to the highest of standards.  The ability to develop and execute a strategy that secures new work whilst managing existing projects is essential for the client as is a trustworthy professional with ambition who can work remotely to develop opportunities at the Airports.

Responsible directly to the owners of the business, the duties and responsibilities include:

  • Take a lead role in conjunction with the Directors to identify and target opportunities to provide a service across various airport infrastructure.
  • Generate new high-level commercial relationships for the business within the relevant customer base (Tier 1 airport contractors, consultants, client, end users).
  • Generate new enquiries and projects for the business.
  • Manage existing enquiries and projects as appropriate.
  • Prepare and deliver high level presentations to clients.
  • Lead final negotiations where appropriate.
  • Grow a service offering specifically for airports and their assets and develop a strategy of how to scale the business to include future Site, Project and Business Development Managers.
  • Prepare and deliver regular monthly reports and data on company business development operations/cost performance.

The key skills and competences for the role are as follows:

  • A demonstrable track record of 5-10 years’ experience working in aviation/airport infrastructure.
  • Highly motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Able to communicate with individuals and clients at all levels, but particularly at a senior level.
  • Able to identify and follow up new opportunities for the business.
  • Able to lead final negotiations with clients.
  • Able to prepare and deliver presentations to clients and be able to explain technical details if required.
  • Able to prepare and deliver appropriate management reports to board level.
  • Able to co-ordinate and manage internal & external (sub contract) resources.
  • Able to conduct themselves with the necessary degree of professionalism.
  • Able to work autonomously with little support.
  • Must have relevant construction delivery experience combined with business development experience gained within airport infrastructure.
  • A proven, sustained track record of winning and delivering projects to the highest of standards and developing high level relationships with new and existing clients (airport main contractors, developers, consultants) in addition to securing profitable business.
  • An in-depth understanding of the on-site erection process within an airport environment is critical for this role. 
  • Developing and executing tactical sales plans including quotas and account objectives.
  • A proven track record of success gained in an environment managing sales of high value capital projects with a long sales cycle.
  • Excellent proposal writing and presentation skills.  Experienced at new business pitching, account management and customer care.
  • Deliver sales growth through the development of both existing and new clients.
  • Instil engineering know how confidence in clients.
  • Develop business relationships with customers in identified target areas.
  • Create compelling bids and robust commercial propositions.
  • Ensure the proactive management of all client relationships throughout the entire sales process, including technical and commercial requirements on each enquiry, quotation, negotiation and confirmation of order.
  • Lead the promotion of products and services to clients and other stakeholders through presentations and trade shows.

The optimum candidate will be a strong influencer and sales closer, capable of promoting and communicating the companies engineering and fulfilment capabilities.  The successful candidate will be capable of managing the full sales cycle from generating leads, closing the sale, account management, pricing, new business development and negotiation.  The role requires a positive, energetic, motivated and enthusiastic individual with a can-do attitude who can contribute significantly as a key member of the senior management team.  The ability to communicate at all levels and be credible in front of procurement through to c suite executives is essential as is the need to have a professional who takes responsibility, accountability and ownership for driving this business into its next stage of growth.

The role will involve 1, possibly 2 days per week at the client’s HQ.  3 to 4 days per week will be spent visiting clients and developing opportunities predominantly in the South East but also UK wide.    

This is an outstanding opportunity for an exceptional candidate who understands steelwork construction and how to win and deliver projects in the airports sector.   It is possible that success in this role could lead to the successful candidate being considered for an MD appointment. This is a fantastic opportunity for a candidate with ambition to prove themselves to the business owners.  Success will see the incumbent have unrivalled opportunities for advancement.  Should you possess the ability to develop and execute a strategy that will win work in the aviation/airport sectors and can demonstrate a sustained track record of doing so, please get in touch ASAP! 


  • Location: London
  • Job Title: Head of Airports
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