Principal Airport Planner

  1. Cities & development, Security, aerospace & defence

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is an international multi-disciplinary organisation with over 18,000 employees. The Atkins Aviation team based in the South East of England is founded on experience and dynamism, armed with a ‘can do’ attitude and underpinned by exemplary technical, engineering, operational and leadership backgrounds from across the aviation sector.


We currently have an opportunity for a highly talented Airport Planner to join our successful team. The role will suit an ambitious and enthusiastic individual who is looking to progress their career within an exciting and successful consultancy environment. The opportunity would suit a graduate with ambitions to work, or extend experience in the aviation industry through working in a consultancy that delivers excellence within the global aviation sector.


If you want to be stimulated intellectually, to challenge yourself professionally and be part of a dynamic team, then we would like to hear from you.


  • As a leading member of our aviation team, you will be responsible for directing experienced members of the team as well as partners on multi-disciplinary / organisational projects.  You will also provide leadership and guidance on a variety of aviation-related planning studies and assessments.
  • Management of Airport development programmes including management and coordination of multi-disciplinary planning and design teams including environmental, engineering, financial and other discipline streams including specialist sub-consultants
  • Assuming technical and financial accountability for projects
  • Scoping and development of airport masterplans
  • Scoping and undertaking studies on airfield layout, apron configuration and passenger terminal planning, ancillary facility and surface access planning
  • Benchmarking to support analysis, modelling and simulation
  • Technical report writing, preparing and delivering presentations
  • Assisting clients in setting out formal requirements and managing external stakeholder consultation
  • Preparation, compilation and review of technical reports, drawings and documents.
  • Phasing, programming and costing aviation project works.
  • Resource management
  • Leadership of programme level design meetings, site meetings and all other project related meetings
  • Providing support to market team in business development activities including input to tenders
  • Contributing to new business development by identifying new opportunities and clients and by leading or contributing to new project proposals.
  • Actively engaging with Atkins / SNCL’s global network of aviation and infrastructure planning professionals
  • Providing guidance and leadership to more junior members of the team


  • Hands on experience in airport planning, with exposure to airfield planning, terminal planning, surface access planning, facilities planning and CAA, EASA, ICAO and IATA standards, much of this will have been in a consultancy environment
  • A relevant first degree or equivalent qualification with preference for an air transport related post graduate qualification and Chartership of a relevant professional body preferred e.g. engineering, architecture, transportation.
  • An understanding of the key drivers of Airport Planning and Development, including the interactions between aviation and airport operations, people and baggage movement, development, design concept, retail, advertising, and surface access.
  • The ability to prioritise tasks with good time management skills and strong project management skills
  • Ability to manage complex, multi-stakeholder projects.
  • Strong team player. Ability to lead, coach and manage more junior members of the team.
  • Commitment to delivery of quality project outputs, on time and to budget. Integrity in dealing with clients and staff
  • Ability to identify, understand and focus on clients’ key requirements and build relationships.
  • A high sense of accountability with an ability to work in a fast-paced environment, be quality oriented and have a desire to deliver high quality work on time and on budget
  • The ability to work with a range of project stakeholders, contractors and clients
  • Experience of project contractual and commercial requirements
  • Experience of business development activities, and able to demonstrate successful role in bids/tenders
  • The ability to work on varied and concurrent commissions
  • A willingness to travel to undertake short-term assignments

Sound Knowledge and appreciation of:

  • Airspace planning and its interface with airport operations and development
  • International codes and standards applicable to aviation
  • Environmental impacts of aviation including noise, air quality and carbon assessment
  • Surface access and landside issues
  • Commercial models of airports
  • Regulation and its impact on UK airports
  • Ability and motivation to manage own work including inputs from others to time and to budget.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) with ability to distil and present technical work to non-technical audiences at senior client and Government level be and fluent in English.

Ability to work at strategic level but have attention to detail 

  • Although not essential the following would be an advantage:
  • Excellent numerical skills including experience of using complex spreadsheets and databases
  • Experience in Airport Modelling and Simulation tools (e.g. CAST, bespoke tools)
  • Experience in airfield and/or terminal operations
  • Experience of airport transactions
  • Understanding of UK Town and Country Planning process
  • Language skills

Employee benefits:

Atkins offers a fantastic range of benefits, which you can tailor to suit your own health, wellbeing, financial and lifestyle choices.

All the information you need to know is available on our dedicated benefits portal; your reward, which is available to access 24/7 from any device:  

This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary it will be discussed with you at interview.

If applying to this role please do not make reference to (in conversation), or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

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