BAA lures McGuinness to lobby for Stansted growth

British Airports Authority has hired Justine McGuinness as head of public affairs for Stansted Airport amid the Essex hub’s controversial plans for a second runway.

McGuinness stood unsuccessfully for the Liberal Democrats at the 2005 general election against then shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin in the marginal seat of Dorset South. Her candidacy was part of the Lib Dems' self-proclaimed 'decapitation strategy' to unseat prominent Conservatives.

She will help manage BAA's public consultation on the site of the second runway at Stansted with Uttlesford District Council, local businesses, residents and environmental pressure groups. A formal planning application will follow.

The runway will be the first to be built in the South-East for more than 50 years if, as planned, it becomes operational in 2013.

McGuinness has for the past eight years run Pineapple Consultants, which specialises in environmental issues, and continues to advise The Environment Agency.

She is contracted to Stansted until the end of March, after which BAA will make a decision on whether to make the role permanent.

Stansted retains Upstream as its PA consultancy. McGuinness reports to director of comms Mark Pendlington, who joined in spring 2004 after easyJet corporate affairs director Toby Nicol reversed his
decision to join the airport (PRWeek, 11 March 2004).

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