London Oxford Airport continues to grow.

Tuesday 18th September 2012

Back to business for London Oxford Airport - London Oxford Airport reports a record fortnight of activity in the first two weeks of September with up to 10 heavy jet movements per day on several days and a 25% increase in overall business aircraft traffic compared with the same period last year.

Most of the transcontinental movements including Bombardier Global Express and Gulfstream IVs and 550 aircraft were first time users of the airport, reflecting that international exposure reaped during the run up to the Olympic Games may have had lasting benefits.

Oxford does well at the Olympics - London Oxford experienced a notable increase in heavy jet movements ahead of the Games in July. Over 50 slots were filled by this category (compared with 18 over the same period last year) including Gulfstream V/550, Bombardier Global Express and Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft along with the airport's first Boeing Business Jet, representing an impressive 180% increase. London Oxford also sold 40% more fuel over same period compared with 2011.

The increased heavy jet traffic endorses the investment by the airport's owners in 2007, to improve its runway bearing strength, enabling it to regularly accept aircraft such as the 55-tonne Embraer Lineage (EMB-190) and larger Airbus types.

For the peak slot coordinated Olympics period (21st July to 15th August) Oxford filled over 600 business aircraft slots, ranking an impressive 5th in the south east region behind Luton, Farnborough, Biggin and Stansted. In that same run up to the Games before the opening ceremony, Barclays London Heliport, jointly owned with London Oxford, also saw a 63% increase over the same period last year, the normally quiet holiday season.

Fly Vectra adds Citation XLS+ to fleet - London Oxford Airport-based Fly Vectra, one of the UK's newest business aviation charter operators, has added a Cessna Citation XLS+ to its fleet. Fly Vectra CEO Captain Edward Noel commented: "Adding the XLS+ to our fleet enables us to compete effectively with other newer types on the market. The aircraft features on board WIFI/Airshow system and Satcom. Fly Vectra is only the second UK operator of the XLS+ and is seeking to attract clients from all over the UK and Northern Europe.

Legacy 600 and EC155 feature in 'Diana' film - The resident Embraer Legacy 600, operated and managed by LEA, together with a Eurocopter EC-155, arranged by Oxford resident Eurocopter UK, are to feature in a new film titled 'Diana', starring British-born actress Naomi Watts. Cast and crew from Ecosse Films, directed by award-winning director Oliver Hirschbiegel, took over the airport for an entire day on 6th August to shoot scenes covering the final two years of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The film, due for release later next year, will chart how finding true personal happiness allowed her to achieve her defining successes, as she evolved into a major international campaigner and humanitarian. This will be the second showing of an Embraer aircraft, filmed at Oxford Airport, to feature in an international film. Last year a FlairJet Phenom 300 was used by Oxfordshire-based film director Vicky Jewson for her latest action thriller Born of War, also due to premiere in 2013.

New Managing Director - In August London Oxford Airport welcomed a new Managing Director, Andi Pargeter. Aged 31, Andi joins an elite group of women in aviation as one of few female airport MDs in the UK and indeed one of the youngest. She is now responsible for leading the airport's continued development and will also work closely with sister airport,

The Barclays London Heliport, to maximise opportunities between the two. Andi was promoted from Head of Finance for London Oxford Airport; and for the last six months has worked within the group finance organisation for the airport's owners, the Reuben Brothers. She brings a strong business development and financial background to the role following a career with the finance team for FTSE 100 company Capita plc, the UK's leading business processing outsourcing group. Within the transport sector she also worked for transport leader, FirstGroup plc, a FTSE 250 company.

Resident Hangar8 plc provide further MRO support capabilities - Tenant company Hangar8, the expanding aircraft management and engineering company Hangar8 plc, has further enhanced its third party support capabilities at its Oxford, UK, MRO facility, covering a broader range of bizjet types. Within less than a year of acquiring EASA 145 approval, the company now provides CAMO - Part M support and line support for all Hawker types including the 4000, the Beechjet/Hawker 400, the Dassault Falcon 2000, Citationjet (525) family and the Embraer Phenom 100. Recently added accreditations were for the Bombardier 601, 604 and 605 models, with Global 5000, 6000 and Falcon 50EX expected shortly.

The company also plans to add Learjet 45/31A approvals and expand into support for Boeing and Airbus ACJ families by the middle of the fourth quarter, having already secured CAMO approval for the Embraer 170/190 (Lineage) and Citation Excel (560). Hangar8 employs a team of 22 staff involved with the new MRO operation.

London Oxford Airport successfully introduces new radar service - The Airport's investment in a brand new radar system reached completion at the end of July with the new Thales system up and running in advance of the London 2012 Olympics.

Installation of the latest generation radar system, which is amongst the most modern and sophisticated radars available today, commenced at London Oxford in the middle of last year. The system has been supplied by Thales UK under project management by NATS. Combined with further system upgrades, the overall investment in communications equipment by the expanding UK airport has been approximately £4.5 million.

The primary and secondary (Mode-S, MSSR) surveillance radar system enables more efficient transits through local airspace as well as increasing the throughput of IFR flight activity (from up to nine minutes to under three minutes' aircraft separation). The state-of-the-art Thales solid state STAR 2000 primary and secondary radars feed data into the Eurocat-C radar display system. "The radar is another important tool in our ability to facilitate a faster throughput of movements, giving us an even greater advantage over a number of our peer airports in the South East," said Business Development Director James Dillon-Godfray.

Major Runway, Apron and Ramp Developments - The runway's licensed take-off lengths were increased by up to 21% last year. Additionally, runway strength was reassessed at a PCN of 38 making it suitable for use by a number of heavier business jets and airliners. The airport is now routinely visited by larger jet types, including the Embraer Lineage and Avro RJ. The enhanced runway length enables longer range private jets such as the Globals, Falcon 7X and G550 family to undertake transatlantic flights on a commercial basis.

In addition, the airport also boasts a new 17,800m2 (4.4 acres - equivalent to three football pitches) high strength apron and has resurfaced 5,000m2 of established surfaces, representing a £2.2m project providing a considerable enhancement in ramp capacity and infrastructure. This has doubled the parking capacity at the airport, bringing it to a total of 35,000m² (8.65 acres). The airport is now able to park up to 40 business jets.

New Buildings - Work has completed on one of the first new office blocks to be constructed at the airport for 20 years. The first of the three storey, 12,500 sq.ft. (1200m2) buildings has been constructed at the entrance to the airport. A new four lane entrance and security reception building is also planned. This follows on from an 80% increase in hangarage capacity over five years with close to a quarter of a million square feet now available (23,000m2). Furthermore, London Oxford Airport plans to explore expanding its 150 bedroom accommodation complex to a 350-bedroom facility.

The London Heliport - Now under shared ownership and management, The London Heliport and London Oxford Airport are offering significant discounts on jets at Oxford interlining with helicopters originated or destined for the Battersea-based, central London heliport, which is typically just a 22-minute helicopter ride from Oxford.

The deal includes: 50% off the landing fee for a visiting jet at Oxford due to interline with a London Heliport originated or destined helicopter (25% for aircraft under 15 tonnes); Free landing for the associated helicopter movement at Oxford and 50% off the landing fee for the helicopter at the Heliport when interlining with the jet at Oxford.

For some operators of larger jets and corporate twin-engined helicopters, this will reap savings of over £1,000 per rotation. London Oxford's fees are generally lower than most London peers in the first instance and so this deal further enhances the value offering at the Thames valley region airport. Additionally, in an effort to entice back greater use by lighter helicopters and single-engine models in particular, the Heliport has announced price reductions for certain classes of helicopter by up to 20%.

Manx2 daily Jersey and Isle of Man flights a great success over the summer - Oxford's new year-round, daily scheduled flights to Jersey and the Isle of Man have been very well received, now with a link to Belfast recently added, four days a week. Using the Jetstream J31 turboprops, the services provide a convenient alternative to travellers in the offshore registration industries and finance, tax and banking sectors routinely travelling to and from the islands. With the shortest of check-in times and the use of the 'VIP' FBO terminal facilities at London Oxford, these airline passengers enjoy the 'business aviation' experience but at conventional scheduled airline costs.

  • About LOndon Oxford Airport:

London Oxford Airport is wholly owned by the Reuben Brothers. Their investment activities include private equity, real estate ownership and development, which are predominantly based in the United Kingdom and Europe. Businesses include shopping centres, mixed use commercial real estate, data centres, race courses, public houses, hotels and other development projects. At the end of February the Reubens purchased the London Heliport at London Battersea, the UK's only CAA licensed heliport. The Heliport is a 22-minute helicopter ride from London Oxford Airport.

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