Gatwick Airport CIO Michael Ibbitson will leave the West Sussex airport in January to take up a new role with Dubai airport. Ibbitson has been CIO at Gatwick since May 2012, during which time the airport has been attempting to get government support to build a second runway in the Conservative party heartland of Sussex and Surrey.
Ibbitson joined Gatwick from Abu Dhabi airport where he was VP for IT for four years. Dubai is a return to the Middle East for the young CIO and will see him departing one of the world’s busiest single runway airports and arrive and at one of the most significant international travel and business hubs on the planet. Dubai airport has been undergoing a significant rebuild and expansion for a number of years and is the “home” airport of the Emirates airline.
“It’s a chance for me to grow beyond the CIO role the executive team is smaller and the airport is twice the size,” Ibbitson said. “I get to work on the six runway Dubai World Central Airport development,” he added. Dubai World Central Airport is a new development, already open to cargo flights that will see an airport as the central hub of a city, complete with residential and business facilities.
In a forthcoming CIO Profile interview Ibbitson discussed his passion for the CIO role in airports: “The variety of the job is exciting. Baggage is like manufacturing and that has to be integrated with the check in service, which is where we work with the airline.”
At Gatwick Ibbitson has piloted an information led strategy that has benefits for all users of the airport. “Everybody here at the airport is our customer, a passenger, ground handler, airline or retailer,” he said. Information points around the airport are collated and delivered to passengers and business partners via mobile Apps and a veteran CIO of the air industry heaps praise on Ibbitson for his customer centric information strategy and collaborative work style.