McNulty was Chief Executive and Chairman of Short Brothers plc, before its takeover by Bombardier. McNulty was President of the Society of British Aerospace Companies (1993–94) and Chairman of the Department of Trade and Industry Aviation Committee (1995–98). He then became Chairman of National Air Traffic Services (1999–01), and its successor the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) (2001–09), replaced by Dame Deirdre Hutton. His is a non-executive director of Gatwick Airport.
As a private sector contributor to public sector projects as a civil servant, he was Chairman of Ilex URC, the regeneration company for Derry, and Chair of Advantage West Midlands since 2009. Made Deputy Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, he was Chairman of the Rail Value for Money Study sponsored by the Department of Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation. This report made recommendations for the future of rail transport in Great Britain, specifically looking at reducing costs and the franchising system put in place following the privatisation of British Rail. In 2016 it was announced that Sir Roy McNulty would be stepping down from his role as chairman of Gatwick Airport but would continue on the airport’s board.
- "Sir Roy McNulty Retires as UK CAA chairman". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- "Board". Gatwick Airport. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "DSD Minister Nelson McCausland today paid tribute to Sir Roy McNulty". Government for Northern Ireland. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- "Sir Roy McNulty appointed chair of Advantage West Midlands". Advantage West Midlands. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "ODA Board". Olympic Delivery Authority. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "Realising the potential of GB rail". Department of Transport. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- "Roy McNulty to step down as Gatwick chairman". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
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