Luton airport boss Nick Barton has stepped down after four years to take up an unspecified new role in 2019.

The airport’s planning and investment director Alberto Martin has been appointed CEO to replace Barton with immediate effect.

An airport statement said: “Nick Barton has taken the decision to step down from his role as CEO to take up a new professional challenge in the new year.”

Barton’s departure follows the completion of a £160 million terminal revamp.

During his time the airport has grown from 9.7 million to 16.5 million passengers a year.

Martin, a former managing director of Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura airports, has overseen preparation and negotiation for Luton Borough Council’s £225 million direct air-rail transit, designed to link the airport terminal with Luton Airport Parkway station by 2021.

He said: “Building on the strong demand from passengers and the success of our recent terminal transformation, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead the team in establishing London Luton airport as the airport of choice for accessible, easy and enjoyable air travel.”