Experts in their field

Dr Andy Jefferson – A&G Jefferson Limited
Programme Director, Sustainable Aviation
Andy is an independent consultant and a Director of A&G Jefferson Limited, the consultancy he jointly set up in 2012. He works with Sustainable Aviation to drive and deliver the work programme, giving them their independent voice. As well as playing a key role in the development of Sustainable Aviation’s Reports and Road Maps, on the key sustainability issues; he is often called upon to give evidence to Select Committees; and champion sustainability at a range of events and meetings with stakeholders. Andy has over twenty years’ experience working for both the Airport and Airline sectors, giving him great breadth in understanding the complexities of the industry. His roles concluded with him heading up the sustainability and planning team at Stansted Airport, having previously had a range of roles in airline operations, commercial development, and fleet planning.
Gillian Jefferson - A&G Jefferson Limited
Administration and Financial Coordinator, Core Delivery Team
Gillian is an independent consultant and a Director of A&G Jefferson Limited, the consultancy she jointly set up in 2012. She works with Sustainable Aviation supporting the Chairs, Vice Chairs and Programme Director, focussing on the coordination and delivery of the work programme, along with general administration and financial support, including providing budgetary overview and forecasting. Prior to setting up A&G Jefferson Limited and now assisting Sustainable Aviation, Gillian worked as a teacher and other roles in Education; worked in Regulatory Inspection for a Local Authority and Ofsted; and has had other roles in Administration and Retail. She has also been Vice-Chair and Chair of a Parish Council.
Neil Robinson – MAG
Council Chair
Neil has 20 years’ experience working in the airports sector and is serving as Chair of Sustainable Aviation for the second time. As Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Director for Manchester Airports Group, he has leadership responsibility for all aspects of the Group’s wide-ranging CSR Strategy. This includes delivering net zero emissions, education, employment, and skills programmes and working with local communities and their representatives. With a background and strong personal interest in sustainability, Neil is a chemistry graduate with a post graduate degree in environmental management and an MBA from Birmingham Business School. Prior to joining Manchester Airports group Neil held senior positions with several companies including London Underground and Jaguar Cars.
John Copley – ADS
Council Joint Vice Chair
John is Chief Strategy Officer at ADS, the national trade association for Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries, which represents some 1200 member companies. ADS membership of Sustainable Aviation brings representation of the full range of aerospace companies and capabilities to address the sustainability challenges we all face. He has spent over thirty years in the aerospace and defence industries in a range of senior strategy and leadership roles working at the interface of industry and government, including nearly a decade with Rolls-Royce plc, latterly as Executive Vice President, Strategy where he led strategy development across the Rolls-Royce Group including a recent major focus on putting sustainability at the heart of the company’s activities. While at Rolls-Royce, John also acted as Chair of the Strategy Working Group for the Aerospace Growth Partnership between industry, academia, and government, bringing together all entities in the UK involved in aerospace and putting sustainability at the principal driving force for the sector’s development. He holds a first-class degree in Chemical Physics from Bristol University and an MBA from Henley Management College.
Graeme Elliot - Virgin Atlantic
Council Joint Vice Chair
Graeme is Director of Government, Industry and International Affairs for Virgin Atlantic Limited, a position he has held since February 2021. Prior to joining Virgin Atlantic, Graeme enjoyed nearly eight years in similar roles at Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airports Group and has more than 20 years in Government, communications and public affairs roles across the rail, aviation, and related sectors. As part of his role, Graeme is responsible for managing Virgin Atlantic’s programme of political and policy engagement, including advocacy for the sustainable future for the industry and a UK Sustainable Aviation Fuel industry. Having managed the company’s sustainability team for the last year, he recently set out Virgin Atlantic’s sustainability strategy and net zero commitments, including securing the airline’s first delivery of SAF for commercial use.
Tim Alderslade – Airlines UK
Council Sponsor for Communications
Tim joined Airlines UK, the industry association for UK-registered airlines, as Chief Executive in May 2016. In his role he is responsible for setting the strategic direction and priorities of the organisation, developing policy positions, and managing campaigns on key political and regulatory issues, whilst acting as an ambassador for the airline sector in the media. He is a member of the Tourism Industry Council and sits on the CBI Trade Association Council. Prior to this position he spent three and a half years at the Airport Operators Association (AOA), most recently as Public Affairs & PR Director. Before joining the AOA Tim worked for two Members of Parliament and for the Insight Consulting Group, where he specialised in a number of policy sectors. He has a BA (Hons) in Politics from Queen Mary, University of London, and an MSc in International Public Policy from University College London.
Solange Baena – Airbus
Council Cleaner Group Chair
Solange is a multi-award-winning aerospace engineer, with 14+ years’ experience in the aviation industry. She has comprehensive experience in developing and leading high profile Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Fuel Systems R&T projects, including the world’s first in-flight emissions study using 100% SAF, that were and still are an integral part of Airbus’ decarbonisation plan. She is currently having a break from being a systems engineer, enjoying her current position on a secondment with the Airbus Aviation Environmental Roadmap team, working on the environmental strategy of Airbus aircraft in operation, and driving and contributing to the definition of Airbus internal and external positions on environmental topics in the UK.
Jonathon Council – IAG
Council Sponsor the Cleaner Group
Jonathon is a past Chair of Sustainable Aviation. His is a master’s graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London and has an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. In July 2015 Jonathon became Group Head of Sustainability for the International Airlines Group with responsibility for the group sustainability strategy across the Groups’ four airlines Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia & Vueling. He has worked in the area of Sustainable Aviation Fuels for the last 15 years and has actively promoted the significant opportunity they provide for aviation to reduce its carbon emissions. In August 2019 he was elected as the Chair of the newly formed IATA Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council. Jonathon is also Chair of the oneworld airline alliance’s Environment & Sustainability Best Practice Group. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and in April 2019 he became President of the Heathrow Branch. He is also a Board Member of the Greener By Design Partnership. In November 2020 Jonathon became Chair of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council Sustainable Aviation Fuel Delivery Group enabling the UK to become the global leader in development of sustainable fuels.
Ian Jopson – NATS
Council Sponsor for the Quieter Group
Ian is a past Chair of Sustainable Aviation and is Head of Sustainable Operations, NATS. He has more than twenty-five years’ experience in the sphere of environmental aviation issues in Europe and beyond, working for the UK Civil Aviation Authority and an independent consultancy. He is currently Head of Sustainable Operations at NATS, which provides air traffic services to 2.2 million flights a year and to the 15 biggest airports in the UK. Ian was part of the environmental research team in the Single European Sky ATM Research programme, SESAR. He is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society's Greener by Design Steering Group. Ian advises the UK state member of ICAO's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection and works with ICAO's Operations environmental working group.
Karen Dee – Airports UK
Council Member
Karen is Chief Executive of AirportsUK, formerly Airport Operators Association (AOA). She joined the AOA as Chief Executive March 2017. Karen has more than 20 years’ experience in policy development, communications, and representation activities within the transport sector. Her career has incorporated roles in government, consultancy and trade associations including: the Department for Transport, Market Access, the Road Haulage Association, CBI, Policy Solutions and more recently, the Freight Transport Association where she worked as Director of Policy for six years
Laura Francis – Gatwick Airport
Council Member
Laura is the Carbon Policy Manager at London Gatwick, and leads the airport’s approach to aircraft and surface access emissions reductions. Laura joined the airport in 2020 to work on noise management initiatives, and is now focused on air quality and emissions reductions. Laura has over 10 years’ experience working in sustainability, across a breadth of sustainability topics. Prior to joining London Gatwick, Laura worked as Group Sustainability Manager for a FTSE100 property development company. She has a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Exeter and a MSc in Corporate Environmental Management from the University of Surrey.
Matt Gorman MBE- Heathrow
Council Member
Matt is Carbon Strategy Director for Heathrow in the Carbon, Communications and Communities department. He has been Sustainability & Environment Director at the airport for the last decade and has been Chair of Sustainable Aviation twice. He has represented the global airports industry in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s working group on aviation and climate change, and Heathrow on the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change. He has been a trustee of the Hillingdon Community Trust and Heathrow Community Fund, Vice-Chair of SERA (the Labour Environment Campaign) and a trustee of Tourism Concern, which campaigns for ethical tourism. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to the decarbonisation of aviation.
Jason Ash - Rolls-Royce
Council Member
Jason is Head of Product Development at Rolls-Royce. He is responsible for the strategic development of current and future market requirements for the commercial aircraft market, including the energy transition from conventional to future propulsion systems. His role involves building relationships with aircraft manufacturers, airline customers, defining strategies and developing business opportunities up to Board level approval. Jason has worked for Rolls-Royce for over 30 years’ and has extensive experience of building cross-functional teams to deliver complex multi £m programmes. He holds a first-class degree in Mechanical Engineering and completed an executive MBA at Warwick Business School with distinction in 2021.
Sameer Savani – GKN
Council Member
Sameer joined GKN Aerospace in April 2022 as Vice President for the company’s Global Technology Centre in Filton, Bristol, UK. The GTC is joint £32m investment between GKN Aerospace and UK Government (through the Aerospace Technology Institute), created to accelerate Aerospace technology developments toward Aviation’s net zero 2050 mission. The GTC bring together GKNA’s customers and partners in a collaborative research and technology environment, bringing forward technologies such as composites manufacturing and assembly, additive manufacturing, and hydrogen propulsion. Before GKN Aerospace, Sameer spent time in Saudi Arabia, supporting the launch of a major trade show and with the UK’s trade association, ADS in a range of strategy and innovation roles. Starting his career as a MOD scientist, Sameer moved to industry in 2010. While at the Aerospace and Defence KTN, he launched the UK’s first National Aerospace Technology Strategy – the precursor to today’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).