Airport operator BAA has appointed Simon Fell to the newly created role of chief technology officer (CTO), where he will lead the development of the technology in its airports.

Fell will take up the post in August and be responsible for strategy, technical innovation, programme development and technical standards. He will report to BAA CIO – and CIO50 2011 alumnus – Philip Langsdale.

Fell is currently a technical consultant with digital TV service Freeview and was previously director of future technologies at ITV.

Heathrow Terminal 2

The redevelopment of Heathrow Terminal 2 is likely to be on the new BAA CTO’s agendaImage: BAA

Langsdale said in a statement that the CTO role is intended to “strengthen and develop the technologies we offer to our airports” and that Fell will be a valuable addition to his IT executive team.

Back in March, BAA announced it was overhauling the technology at its six UK airports to improve services to passengers, airlines and other businesses.

The company will invest £400m into Heathrow’s IT over the next five years, including the redevelopment of the airport’s Terminal 2.

Additional technology investment was promised for BAA’s other UK airports – Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Stansted – as part of a strategy for them to operate as stand-alone business units.

However, the Competition Commission’s recent ruling that BAA must sell Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport is likely to alter these plans.