The former chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley airport has taken over as boss of Bournemouth airport.

Stephen Gill was selected aa managing director of the south coast airport ten months after it was acquired by the airports management division of Rigby Group.

His appointment followed a “rigorous” selection process amid ambitions to double passenger numbers to 1.5 million over the next five years.

Rigby Group chief operating officer Steve Rigby said: “Stephen has the track record and vision to grow commercial and passenger activity, leveraging the group’s scale, contacts and expertise in regional aviation to deliver continued progression.

“Key is to make use of existing capacity to satisfy the market – Bournemouth airport is best placed to meet the demands of the wider region.”

Gill added: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Bournemouth airport, which is well supported by local passengers and the business community, bringing clear economic benefits to the region.

“The main objective will be to grow commercial and passenger activity at Bournemouth airport, building on the substantial progress made since the acquisition in December 2017.

“It has the runway length, terminal and passenger facilities to satisfy regional demand and is already home to very successful operations with Ryanair, Tui and other European and transatlantic operators.

“One of my responsibilities will be to support close working relationships with the business community and regional stakeholders, to deliver inward investment, enhanced connectivity and job creation.”

Ryanair recently announced a new route from Bournemouth to Prague, with a twice-weekly service from April 2019, and Super Break has introduced a range of new destinations.