Trained as an economist, Dr Humphreys spent the early part of his career with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, becoming Head of Air Services Policy, a member of the Senior Management Group. He subsequently joined Virgin Atlantic as Director of External Affairs and Route Development, with a wide range of responsibilities. On retirement in 2009, he served for two three-year terms as Chairman of the British Air Transport Association (now Airlines UK), the trade body for UK airlines, and was for several years a Non-Executive Director of NATS, the UK air traffic control provider. He continues to lecture and write widely on aviation subjects and has carried out numerous consultancy/advisory projects for clients throughout the industry. He is a Trustee of two significant charities, including Airlink, which is extensively supported by the aviation industry and seeks to bring together NGOs and airlines at times of humanitarian need. In the Queen's 2015/16 New Year's Honours List he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to aviation and charity.