Cautious optimism at Oxford Airport


At a pre-EBACE briefing at Oxford Airport there was an air of cautious optimism by those presenting that it appears business aviation is beginning to improve after three years in the doldrums.

London Oxford AirportNew appointed managing director Chris Orphanou said that the airport was
now attracting on average 20 business aircraft a day, equating to some 7,000
movements in a year. Last year the airport had an average of 6 or 7 business
aircraft movements a day over the same period. ” 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.

All of those companies who attended seem to believe that there appears
to be ‘green shoots’ of recovery and growth back in the industry. These ‘green
shoots’ are not spectacular but more ‘low and slow’ growth.

The airport is still growing and has ongoing developments, spending a
total of over £6 million on a new £1.8 million airport office complex and £4.5
million new Primary and Secondary radar with £0.9 million for the second phase
of the communications refit for the tower. There will be more investment in the
coming years too.

These developments are hoped to be in place to benefit the airport for
next year’s London Olympics. Aircraft movements are significantly up according
to James Dillon-Godfrey, the airport’s business development director. The 2012
Olympics are of prime interest to Oxford Airport, James went on to say “Not
only is Oxford one of the UK’s favourite tourist destinations outside London,
but London Oxford Airport is 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 UK’s
Central business region.”

Connection to London
by rail will be improved when the new station at Kidlington when it is
completed in late 2012. It should be possible to reach the capital in under an

The airport has upgraded some safety equipment by taking delivery of a
brand new ITURRI fire tender and will replace the other two fire engines with
new machines in due course.

The airport has increased parking by laying new tarmac and can now park (depending
on the size) up to 40 business aircraft in front of the business terminal.