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Louise Congdon

Louise is an experienced airport planner and strategist with nearly 40 years of experience in the aviation industry for the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Birmingham and Manchester Airports; at a senior management level for 17 years.  She joined York Consulting to set up York Aviation as Managing Director in September 2002. 

At Manchester Airport, Louise played a key role in influencing UK and European aviation policy debates and was responsible for corporate strategy, business planning, forecasting, and overall aviation policy development, including the strategy and concepts behind the Airport's Development Strategy, the second passenger terminal, and the second runway.


Since establishing York Aviation, Louise has advised a wide range of clients including airports, airlines, governments and public sector agencies, investors and business groups on a wide range of topics relating to air transport and the air transport market.  Louise has an unparalleled breath of knowledge in relation to air transport and has provided advice across the UK, Europe and globally.

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Air traffic forecasting;

  • Policy and strategy advice;

  • Economic impacts of airports;

  • Airport business planning and strategy;

  • Airport master planning and development;

  • Planning application support and planning inquiry witness;

  • Economic regulation;

  • Transaction services; and

  • Air transport agreements.

James is an economist and Partner with York Aviation.  James joined York Aviation from its parent company York Consulting in January 2004 and has 20 years of consultancy experience working for a wide range of clients including airports, airlines, central and regional government, regional and local development agencies, investors and other private sector organisations.  James has become recognised as one of the leading experts in Europe in relation to the economic impact of airports and air services more generally.  


James uses his knowledge of theoretical and applied economics combined with an in depth knowledge of the air transport industry to provide clients with robust and grounded insights on a wide range of issues.  He uses a wide range of quantitative and qualitative techniques to provide clear answers to client questions and to solve client problems.  These analytical skills are combined with outstanding communication skills, which allow complex messages to be passed on clearly and understandably.


His recent work has included undertaking economic impact assessments of the MAG airports, Bristol Airport and Newcastle Airport, providing economic impact and traffic forecasting advice to London City and Luton airports, analysing the strategic network of General Aviation airfields in the UK for the Department for Transport, advice to Virgin Atlantic in relation to the economic regulation of new capacity at Heathrow and technical due diligence advice to HNA Group in relation to their bid for the concession at Belgrade Airport.

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Economic impact assessment, evaluation and appraisal;

  • Passenger and cargo traffic forecasting;

  • Policy and strategy advice;

  • Financial analysis;

  • Market assessment and analysis;

  • Transaction advice; and

  • Economic regulation.

James Brass

Richard is an experienced aviation consultant with over 14 years of experience with York Aviation. He has a broad knowledge of the sector, covering aviation business and strategy and combining this with airport planning and economic assessment skills to offer clients a fully-rounded package of expertise.

Over his time at York Aviation Richard has worked across the full range of projects, both in the UK and internationally, reporting to the very highest levels of client. Significant time has been spent in advising airports, airlines and investors as well as regional stakeholders and providing expertise into the planning and legal systems, including acting as an expert witness. His particular areas of specialism are in passenger demand & need forecasting, route development and market analysis, airport strategy and business planning, and aeronautical pricing. However, Richard has led on a number of broader studies including economic impact and infrastructure planning, being highly regarded in both of these by clients.

Additionally he has a good understanding of airport finance and have been involved in a number of global airport transactions, including as an adviser to the successful bidders on the London City Airport transaction (2016) and more recently to HNA Group in relation to Belgrade Airport (2017).

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Air passenger forecasting for airports and airlines;

  • Aeronautical pricing, including pricing structure development to optimise growth;

  • Strategic airport business planning;

  • Airline strategy;

  • Route development and market analysis;

  • Airport infrastructure planning;

  • Socio-economic impact analysis of airports and aviation;

  • Optimisation of airports to reflect the needs of their airline users, both in terms of business and planning; and

  • Transaction advice.

Richard C
Richard Connelly

Matt has over 10 years experience in the airport design and aviation consultancy sector.  His background is in civil engineering design of airports, airport master planning and capacity planning but has gained extensive experience in the latter half of his career working on projects covering due diligence, airport transactions, economic assessment, aviation policy, business strategy and planning.

Matt has worked on projects of all sizes and at all stages of development both in the UK at many major commercial as well as GA airfields, and has significant experience overseas including airports in Europe and Latin America.


Matt can draw together his experience across engineering, master planning and strategy disciplines to advise clients on a broad spectrum of issues around airport design and operational viability to ensure balanced and practical solutions.

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Airport master planning;

  • Airport capacity analysis;

  • Terminal planning and capacity assessment;

  • Due Diligence;

  • Transaction advice on capacity, infrastructure planning, and capital and operational costs;

  • The general and business aviation sector;

  • Economic Impact;

  • Airfield planning;

  • Aviation design regulations and compliance;

  • Aerodrome Safeguarding and Obstacle Limitation Surface modelling/analysis; 

Declan Maguire

Declan is a Principal Consultant at York Aviation and has over 12 experience in senior positions within the aviation sector.  Declan has held a number of leadership roles during his tenure with Peel Airports, the owners of Liverpool, Doncaster Sheffield and, historically, Teesside Airports. During this time, Declan has been integral to key business decisions and understands the commercial issues facing small and medium sized airports. Declan can also apply experience gained working in the commercial division of leading airlines including TUI and Virgin Atlantic.

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Route appraisal and development;

  • Commercial Strategy

  • Investment appraisal;

  • Strategic airport business planning;

  • Airline strategy;

  • Route development and market analysis;

  • Transaction advice.

James joined York Aviation in early 2023. He has over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, covering various financial, commercial and strategic roles, having worked for an airline, airport and an aviation consultancy.   


A qualified accountant, James has a proven track record of delivery in the industry, beginning his career at British Airways, at Heathrow, and then working in a variety of financial and commercial roles in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. His career took him to Manchester Airports Group, where he performed several roles including Head of Strategy – Aviation, supporting the aviation development across the group with longer term strategic direction, and shorter term network development. Some of the projects James successfully supported included attracting Emirates to Stansted, Hainan and Ethiopian Airlines to Manchester, and the growth of based low cost carriers across MAG’s three airports.


More recently, as an Associate at aviation consultants Steer, James advised clients on a broad range of areas including long-term forecasting, pricing, airport economic regulation, strategy, and transaction services.

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Air passenger forecasting for airports and airlines;

  • Airline strategy;

  • Aeronautical pricing, including pricing structure development

  • Airport economic regulation;

  • Financial analysis;

  • Route Development and market analysis;

  • Strategic airport business planning;

  • Transaction advisory.

James Ager
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Karan Mudaliar

Karan is a consultant at York Aviation and a 3rd generation in the Aviation Industry.  Karan joined York Aviation in 2016 as an Analyst, having completed his internship at an Advisory boutique in London working in various sectors, including aviation and aircraft financing.

At York Aviation, Karan has worked across a wide range of projects in the UK, but has developed a specialism in Economic Impact Studies and Economic Regulation of Airports. In particular, Karan uses his knowledge and understanding from his finance discipline in advising clients on setting the cost of capital (WACC) in relation to regulatory price determination. Karan has assisted key airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair in determining the appropriate cost of capital for the oncoming price determinations.

His recent work includes Economic Impact of Regional UK Airports including Manchester Airport’s Group (MAG), Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle Airport. Karan has also recently assisted in route development for various potential routes to Scotland.

Specialist Knowledge Areas

  • Economic impact of airports;

  • Route appraisal and development

  • Financial and economic analysis;

  • Investment appraisal;

  • Economic regulation; and

  • Transaction advice.

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