Southampton Airport has announced the name of its new manager.

Head of operations Neil Garwood will step up to succeed Dave Lees who is departing to become chief executive at Bristol Airport.

Neil joined Southampton Airport in October 2010 following six years in the rail freight sector.

Initially responsible for management of the terminal facilities, Neil was promoted to Head of Customer Service the following year.

In March 2016, Neil took on the role of head of operations with responsibility for all operational activities across the airport including security, airfield, customer experience and the fire service.

Neil will take up his position on June 1.

He said: “I am taking over at what is a very exciting time for the airport and I am looking forward to working with the great team here to ensure we continue to deliver for our passengers and the region.”

Derek Provan, chief Executive of AGS Airports which owns Southampton, said: “During his eight year career at Southampton Airport, Neil has held a series of senior positions. He takes on the leadership of what is a hugely dedicated and committed team who are focused on achieving even further success for Southampton Airport.”

Southampton Airport provides is a vital economic driver for the region, contributing more than £100 million a year to the local economy and emplys nearly 1,000 staff.

In 2017 it welcomed a record 2.1 million passengers and secured a number of new routes including direct flights to Ibiza with Thomson and Volotea, a direct service to Rodez with Eastern Airways and the arrival of easyJet which launched direct flights to Geneva in December 2017.