Stansted landside operations boss Karen Smart has landed the top job at East Midlands airport.

She will take up her role as managing director net month leading a team of more than 500 staff.

Smart takes over from Andy Cliffe who has led the airport for five years and been with East Midlands and Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group for 19 years.

Cliffe leaving to become chief executive of Midland Expressway, the company responsible for operating the M6 Toll road.

MAG group chief executive Andy Cornish said: “Andy has done a tremendous job in driving East Midlands airport forward as a vital piece of UK infrastructure.

“The airport provides a valuable service to leisure and business passengers across the region and through its significant cargo operation is responsible for fuelling the national economy.

“Karen Smart is an exceptional leader and with her strong track record I’m sure she will build on the great foundations that exist at East Midlands airport.”

Smart added: “It’s a hugely exciting time in the aviation industry and I feel privileged to be taking on the role of MD at East Midlands airport.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the drive to attract new airlines to serve the vibrant region whilst further improving the customer experience.”