Heathrow prepares for crises

BAA Heathrow has beefed up its comms team in response to the chaos created by this summer's foiled ­terrorist plot, and ahead of the opening of Terminal 5.

It has replaced head of media relations Jo Bird by creating two positions - one for operational matters and one concentrating on strategy ahead of the Terminal 5 launch.

Bird left to join The ­British Transport Police this summer (PRWeek, 1 Sep).

The new roles have been filled through internal promotions. Australian Damon Hunt, who has been with BAA for the past two years, has been promoted from senior media manager to head of media - operations. He will be in charge of day-to-day media enquiries and comms surrounding operational issues such as changes in the airport's security protocol.

Antonia Kimberly, who has been with the company for seven years, latterly as media manager, has been handed the job of head of media relations - strategy. She will have a longer-term focus, concentrating on the Terminal 5 project.

Both report to Heathrow director of comms Ben ­Morton as part of the 25-strong comms team for the airport. Morton said the moves ‘make sense for the business we have in the ­current climate'.

BAA Heathrow is currently recruiting for a media manager to fill the gap left by the pair's promotions.

The Terminal 5 project was praised last month for avoiding the delays and cost hikes that have plagued the new Wembley Stadium. The £4.3bn extension is 85 per cent finished and running to budget, even though it is not due to open until March 2008.

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