Tributes paid to former London City Airport boss Richard Gooding OBE

Richard Gooding OBE, Chief Executive of London City Airport.

Richard Gooding OBE was chief executive of London City Airport from 1996 to 2012. - Credit: Joe Lord

A former chief executive of London City Airport has died.

Richard Gooding OBE, who was at the helm of the Royal Docks hub between 1996 and 2012, passed away on Tuesday, May 25.

Richard Gooding OBE is the Chief Executive of London City Airport.

Under Mr Gooding's leadership London City Airport was named the UK's best by industry leaders in 2011. - Credit: Joe Lord

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of London City Airport, said: "It is with great sadness that the airport learned of the recent passing of former chief executive officer Richard Gooding OBE.

"Richard's contribution to the airport was immense. He was instrumental in expanding the airport's terminal and upgrading the infrastructure, helping to grow passenger numbers from one million to three million by the end of his tenure."

Richard Gooding OBE, Chief Executive of London City Airport.

Mr Gooding helped the airport grow its passenger numbers from one million to three million. - Credit: Joe Lord

Mr Sinclair went on to praise Mr Gooding for helping to put London City on the DLR network.

"He was passionate about the airport's role in the regeneration of Newham and east London," Mr Sinclair said.

A key achievement was the launch of the Take Off Into Work jobs scheme, which to this day continues to provide residents and young people with employment opportunities at the airport.

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Stephen Timms MP, whose East Ham constituency is home to London City, said: "Richard was a very effective airport chief executive, and also rolled up his sleeves to support the local community – for example, serving as an NHS trust board member.

"He was enthusiastic and committed, with a big personality. Many of us in Newham will always remember him fondly."

Under Mr Gooding's leadership, London City was named the UK's best airport by industry leaders at the Business Travel Awards in 2011, seeing off competition from Gatwick, Southampton and Bristol.

The hub also scooped the Top UK Airport award at the Annual Wanderlust Magazine Travel Awards in 2012 - for the sixth time under Mr Gooding's stewardship.

Mr Gooding also supported Richard House Children's Hospice in his role by raising £39,000 for the centre, which cares for children with life-limiting conditions, at the airport’s annual fun day in 2011.

It had attracted a record 25,000 visitors to rides, entertainment, a fashion parade, talent contest and air show, according to reports at the time.

Mr Gooding started his career at British Airways forerunner BEA in 1966. He was head-hunted for the role of operations director at Manchester Airport before being appointed CEO at Luton Airport.

He was recognized for The Queen’s Award for Export, Technological and Environment in 1999 before being awarded an OBE for services to aviation in 2006.

"Richard will be sincerely missed and fondly remembered as a brilliant leader, mentor, colleague and friend,"  Mr Sinclair said.

"Our condolences go out to his family and friends at this very sad and difficult time."

Following retirement, Gooding returned to the area of rural Suffolk where he grew up. He is survived by his wife Jacqui and daughter Elizabeth.

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