Exeter was one of many provincial cities to provide a licensed aerodrome on its outskirts in the late 1930s, partly to prepare for the development of airline traffic but also to be available for use in any future European war. A new company, Exeter Airport Ltd was formed by the Straight Corporation with offices at 17, Manchester Square, London W.1, to operate the airport on behalf of Exeter City Council. By the late 1930s, the Straight Corporation controlled 21 associated companies and managed airlines, airports and aero-clubs all over the UK. The company employed the services of architects, Robert Hening and Anthony Chitty and subsequently awarded a building contract to Soper & Ayers of Exeter for a new terminal building at Exeter Airport. Captain L.R Mouatt was appointed as Airport Manager until a flying accident ended his aviation career. Jack Pearse took his place but he only stayed until 1938 and succeeded by Flight Lieutenant R.L Bateman. Bateman was manager at the time of the official opening ceremony.