Alan Gardner  Airport Duty Manager
Sadly we have learnt that Alan passed away on the 5th October 2018. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues. Alan attended the BUA / Morton reunion just a week earlier, and though ill Alan caught up with many of his friends and colleagues at the reunion. Alan started with Transair, working in the Traffic Department and was a Traffic Duty Officer with BUA in 1970 before becoming a Gatwick Operations Controller and then onwards to an Airport Duty Manager (under Rod Hoare) by 1987.

Service details

Alan's service was held on Thursday 15th November at the Devon and Exeter Crematorium

The family kindly invited folks to join them afterwards to remember Alan.

And In Sussex: A celebration of Alan's life was held at the Roebuck Hotel, Wych Cross on 22nd November 2018

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Alan's name can do so to the Devon and Exeter Air Ambulance.  Please send to the family at Toppers Rest, Meadowside, Spreyton, Devon EX17 5AB who in turn will forward to the undertakers.  They will collate all and then send on.

Alan Remembered

From Jane Gray:  So sad, thinking of his family, and love to Pauline. At least he was at reunion and saw lots of friends.

From John McCarthy
So sad but so good to have seen him at the was still Alan in spite of his health problems. Our thoughts are with Pauline, Andrew and Richard. RIP Alan.

From Lin Shaw (Towler)
How incredibly brave of Alan to come to Reunion despite being so poorly. Such sad news that he has passed away, I didn't know him well but remember him being a lovely sweet guy.  My thoughts & prayers are with Pauline & family for their sad loss. Brilliant though that Alan made it to see so many old friends & people he was fond of in BUA days  & 're kindled many wonderful memories of happy times. We will always remember him being there.

From Alan & Helen Reeves
I was truly lost for words when I heard, so very sad. I am now so glad that I gate crashed the BUA re union last Sunday and spoke to Alan. and Pauline. A ‘Gent and despite his problems he was just the same old Alan chuckling away and remembering as we were all ( trying to do). Like so many others our thoughts are with his family.

From Charles Manetta
Our deepest condolences to Pauline and the family. Such a shock, Alan seemed in such good spirits as we sat and talked at the same table at the Reunion. Many others came over to talk to him and he managed to get about a bit to speak to more. The same Alan we all knew.

From Brian Russell

We were talking about Alan just recently which makes it more shocking-he was my Duty Officer and such a nice guy. I have such good memories of him and his humour. This very sad news for all of his friends and family.

From Dave Mercer : My thought and prayers are with Pauline

From Doug & Virginia Ledingham
Very saddened to hear the news that Alan has passed on. I remember his cheery smile and good humour, he will be greatly missed by us all. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

From Gordon Coleman
Such sad news - we talked for a while at the reunion a few days previously and he was so much the Alan I remembered from those super days we all enjoyed in BUA. A lovely man who will always remain in the memory of us all who worked with him. Our thoughts and sympathy are now with Pauline and family. RIP Alan.

From Jim Novis : Condolences to Alan`s family , a sad loss.

From the BUA Reunion
One of Alan's last trips was to the BUA Traffic reunion and the team have kindly donated £100 to the Devon and Exeter air ambulance in Alan's memory.

If you would like to leave a message in remembrance please drop me a line anytime at

Condolences were also extended by:

Linda Collyer, Dave Thaxter, Phil & Pauline Bowell, Peter Barrie, Colin Alexander

Alan's Career

Alan commenced his airline career with as a Traffic controller in 1959 with Transair in Croydon,  a post World War !! private independent British airline formed in 1947. Transair later became BUA in 1961. At Gatwick he worked his way through the airline as a Ramp Supervisor, Passenger Services Supervisor, Traffic Duty Officer and during that role became a Gatwick Traffic Instructor and went on to spend 3 months in Kano, Nigeria assisting in the start up of traffic services for the new BUA West African route.

In 1971 when the BUA merger formed with BUA, as Ground Operations Controller  he spent several months as relief  duty as Manager Operations Control . During that time he also spent 6 months in Monrovia as relief Manager Traffic Stations West Africa and another 2 months in Freetown.

In 1981 Alan was seconded to Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Lagos Nigeria and in 1984 having been appointed Station Manager Kano  (NAHCO) moved up to Kano his family.  He arrived in Kano together with one Nigerian Duty Officer  with the job of organising and overseeing the development of a building site with which he had to organise the building of a Cargo Station and later to hire Staff and get the new premises  up and running. Upon completion of his contract in 1986 Alan there was a 24 hour operation capable of handling most civil airliners including B747 freighters. Despite the challenges thrown at Alan and Pauline in Nigeria they made a good life and enjoyed the opportunity to have had the experience.

Returning to Gatwick as Airport Duty Manager (BCAL) he later had a relief posting as Airport Manager in Saudi Arabia and Ghana where he also had the role of Country Manager, Ghana.

When BA took over  BCAL, Alan qualified to take early retirement.

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British Caledonian - A Tribute