British Airways boss opens Kingston University's new business school

British Airways boss Willie Walsh was at Kingston University

British Airways boss Willie Walsh was at Kingston University

First published in Business News Your Local Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Digital editor

British Airways boss Willie Walsh used the launch of Kingston University’s new £26m Business School to rail against UK aviation policy.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new eco-friendly building, Mr Walsh also praised New Malden mum and London Mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita for her calls for a third runway at Heathrow.

The chief executive of BA parent company IAG attended the Kingston Hill campus on April 23 for the launch of the building, which has rainwater running through its urinals, a bore hole to provide heating, classrooms and a large glass-roofed atrium.

Speaking to the Surrey Comet, Mr Walsh, a Teddington resident who said he read the Surrey Comet’s sister paper The Richmond and Twickenham Times, said: “I came here three years ago when there was a building site and they were telling me about developments and I think they have done a fantastic job.”

Vice-chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg said of the atrium space: “When two people, a student and a lecturer, bump together they can come up with a brilliant idea. I want people out of their offices and in a space like this.”

Architect Nicola Rutt, who was at the school from 1992 to 1995, said: “I’m delighted with the quality of the build and very happy that we have had such a positive response from the people that are going to use it.”

Earlier Willie Walsh told students at the school investment was going elsewhere in the world because of policies like air passenger duty airport departure tax, visa costs and immigration delays at Heathrow.

He said: “Government policy is misguided and misplaced and needs to be urgently reviewed.”

Kingston Business School alumni include Andrew Haines, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, Stephen Howard, managing director of RBS Hong Kong, and Mike Adamson MBA, the managing director of operations for the British Red Cross.

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