Tony Douglas, chief executive of Heathrow airport, to join BAA’s biggest building contractor, Laing O’Rourke. Financial Times. Daily Telegraph. The Times

The latest in a series of top level departures from the UK airports group, since its controversial takeover last year by Ferrovial of Spain, comes as baa faces an avalanche of criticism over the failing service standards at Heathrow.

The tensions between the airport operator, the airlines and the government over security and the sometimes chaotic travel conditions at some UK airports were under the spotlight again yesterday at a summit called by Ruth Kelly, transport secretary, to address security issues across UK airports, Heathrow in particular.

Douglas, who last month admitted he saw things at Heathrow that made him ‘cringe’, has resigned from the board of airports operator BAA to become chief operating officer at construction group Laing O’Rourke. He will take up his post in the first week of August. Mark Bullock, Heathrow managing director, will take responsibility of the airport.

Douglas described his new role as ‘pretty close to my dream job’, not least because of its role in developments for London’s 2012 Olympics, as well as projects in Australia and the Middle East.