20 April 2011 – Air Transport News (Aviation website)
London Oxford Airport increased its jet movements year on year by 31% and saw its overall business aviation movements increase 18% over the past 12 months. This contrasts favourably with the average 5% increase recorded by the EU27 (European states) over the same period. Jet fuel sales at its business aviation facility oxfordjet during the period were up by 19%.
Speaking at a pre-EBACE Show media briefing yesterday, newly appointed Managing Director Chris Orphanou said that the airport is now handling an average 20 business aircraft movements a day, equating to approximately 7,000 business aviation movements a year. “And with some 35 business aircraft regularly ‘living’ at the airport, this makes Oxford Airport the fastest growing for business aviation in the UK,” he said.
The only decline in activity for a specific sector is in the number of light recreational aircraft movements, down about 11%, year on year, reflecting the general decline in the light general aviation sector during the ongoing recession.
The Olympics in 2012 is of prime interest to London Oxford Airport, said James Dillon-Godfray, Business Development Director. “Not only is Oxford one of the UK’s favourite UK tourist destinations outside London, but London Oxford Airport is also the ideal choice for Wembley events, and specifically the rowing at Windsor. The Airport’s location provides rapid access to London, the Thames Valley, South East and the UK’s Central Business region.” Just an hour by car from London’s West End, the airport also boasts UK Border pre-clearance and daily 0600-2230 operations, making it the most accessible dedicated business aviation hub for the nation’s capital city.
A new rail station at Kidlington, just south of the airport, will improve access greatly with a new link to the airport from London achievable in just 58-minutes via Marylebone station. Construction is due for completion in late 2012.
A CAT6 Airport with Convenient Opening Hours
London Oxford Airport is open seven days a week from 0600 (first departure 0630) to 2230 every day and can operate up until midnight by prior request. As a CAT6 RFF airport, now with a newly approved Code 3C runway, Oxford can easily handle aircraft of up to 100 seats or more for VIP arrivals and departures. For example, the airport can handle the Embraer E-jet family of larger E170/175/190/195 aircraft and the Lineage variants, along with the smaller Airbus family of jets.
Major Runway, Apron and Hangar Developments
The Airport has added up to 21% to its useable runway take-off distance and has recently been re-classified at 3C status, with a TODA of up to 1,592m (5,223 ft). This enables greater numbers of jets to achieve transcontinental range or carry more passengers out of Oxford, whilst regional airliners can now undertake European-wide operations.
Work was recently completed on 17,800m2 (4.4 acres – equivalent to three football pitches) of new high strength apron while the airport has also resurfaced 5,000m2 of established surfaces, representing a £2.2m project providing a considerable enhancement in capacity and infrastructure. This will effectively double the parking capacity at the airport for aircraft weighing up to 50 tonnes. London Oxford Airport can now accommodate far more aircraft for visiting operators and airport-based residents.
A new 4,440m2 (47,800 sq ft) hangar was constructed on the south side of the main airport site during 2010, suitable for Globals and Gulfstream 650-sized aircraft and there are plans for another major hangar (55,000 sq ft) to be constructed during 2011. There will also be a further 60,000 sq ft of apron development and a significant redesign of the Airport’s front entrance with new access roads, a new security gate and office blocks (12,000 sq ft, representing an investment estimated at £1.8m) with additional retail space.
London Oxford Airport was the first business aviation airport in the UK to go live with an ARINC Ground Station for GLOBALink service to heighten flight efficiency and safety. The Ground Station went live in September 2010 as part of a wide-ranging series of communications upgrades at the airport. Together with the installation of a new primary and secondary radar system, the total communications investment is estimated at £5.0 m.
UK Border Pre-Clearance
London Oxford Airport has on-site Special Branch (Police) officers who offer swift UK Border liaison for all flights requiring assistance. The airport can coordinate all formalities, with a quick and easy service provided by the border office conveniently located in the VIP terminal. Operators, sales companies and maintenance organisations can now also import aircraft directly into Oxford from third party, non-EU countries without the need to go via another Customs Designated airport in the UK first.
New Fire Tender
The airport has invested around £500,000 on a new fire tender, as part of a continuing strategy to upgrade its fire services. The fire tender is the next generation in the ITURRI family of fire appliances and will be the first of its kind to be delivered to an airport in the UK in May 2011.
London Oxford Airport is one of only two General Aviation/Business Aviation Airports in the UK with full DEFRA approval for the importation of domestic pets and the only one to the north or west of London. Owners of dogs and cats can transport them on flights into the Airport from overseas under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). An increasing number of operators are signing up the scheme as they see the flexibility of the PETS quarantine exemption process of critical benefit to their service offering.
Jersey 2011 sales ahead, year-on-year
London Oxford Airport’s successful seasonal Jersey service for C.I. Travel Group will resume operations for summer 2011. The service will operate from mid-May through to mid-September utilising a Cityjet, 50-seat Fokker 50 aircraft with departures every Saturday at 11:50.
New services to Palma introduced
Direct flights to Palma, Mallorca, Oxford’s first service to the Mediterranean, are being introduced for the first time this year, operated by Eastern Airways 50-seat Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft, departing on Saturdays at 08:50 from mid-June onwards. A wide range of villa, hotel, self-catering and rustic retreat properties are being offered, as well as seat only.
Airport to host first Air Show – ‘Fly to the Past’ in August
For the first time in decades, this year will see the airport host a major historical air show on the 21st August, Fly-to-the-Past. The themed event was successfully hosted to audiences of 25,000 previously at nearby Blenheim Palace for three years. Now attendees can enjoy the benefit of aircraft on the ground. Aside from the four hour show, the airport will operate as normal throughout the day. www.flytothepast.com
London Oxford Airport-based AirMed has launched AM AirBorn, a world-class neonatal transfer service. AirMed is the UK’s leading air ambulance and Medevac operator with a large fleet of aircraft based at London Oxford Airport including the only two full-time dedicated medevac fast jets in the country. AirMed is pioneering new services including specialist neonatal transfer services, which operate on missions as far away as the USA and Middle East.
Hangar 8 plc successfully floated on the AIM market in November 2010 with 24 managed business jets and made a double first as the first European AOC operator on both the Hawker 4000 and the Embraer Lineage – the largest aircraft to ever touch own at London Oxford Airport in the airfield’s 73-year history. The company is further expanding its managed fleet to 30 aircraft including new types that will be based at Oxford Airport.
Oasis Fleet has doubled its fleet with two more King Airs.
FlairJet introduced two new Phenom 300s at Oxford – the first in Europe on an AOC and the first in the UK. FlairJet now operates a fleet of five managed Phenom aircraft.
Oxford’s seventh based AOC operator, Finesse Executive, has recently introduced a Falcon 900 to the airport.
Newly named Aura Aviation, UK & Ireland Distributors for the Daher – Socata TBM850 high performance turboprop opened an office at London Oxford Airport in January. 2011 is an important year for the OEM being their 100th anniversary of aircraft production. Aura Aviation General Manager Adrian Munday anticipates delivery of a new TBM850 in June which will be based at the airport. Aura Aviation is a subsidiary company of Blackbrook LLP, the parent of JetBrokers Europe. Whilst the two companies are autonomous businesses it is envisaged that JetBrokers Europe will also have a presence at London Oxford, alongside Aura Aviation.
EBAS – a specialist support company long established at Oxford, gained its EASA 145 approval and is now offering base level support and expertise on Bombardier Challenger and Global Express aircraft. Some five Challenger aircraft are now based at Oxford, supported by EBAS, with many others visiting from as far afield as Africa for technical support and upgrades.
London Oxford Airport at EBACE
Managing Director, Chris Orphanou; Business Development Director James Dillon-Godfray; together with Head of Customer Services, David Surley and Customer Services Representative, Sarah Robinson will be participating at Europe’s premier business aviation show EBACE (Stand No 1642) during 17-19 May in Geneva to highlight the full benefits of the award-winning business aviation airport.