London Oxford Airport hails 10 years of consistent growth


London Oxford Airport new hangar

London Oxford Airport, ranked the fifth busiest UK business airport in the UK and amongst the top 20 in Europe, is among a handful of UK business airports that have seen consistent growth post the financial crash of 2007.

According to Eurocontrol figures published last month, London Stansted (with its five FBOs) leads the ‘most recovered’ with a 35% 10-year growth.  But London Oxford is a close second with an overall 32% growth.

London Luton Airport retains its crown as the number one airport for business aviation movements, but it and a few other London-centric airports have become “increasingly squeezed for slots, to the benefit of airports like us,” said James Dillon-Godfray, Head of Business Development, speaking at London Oxford Airport’s pre-EBACE 2018 media briefing last week.  ‘With night flights constrained at key peer airports we can still operate to midnight seven days a week.’

The uptick in the number of large cabin business aircraft movements it saw last year continues, while the 20% increase in helicopters handled in 2017 shows no sign of reducing.  Rotary activity will increase further when the Children’s Air Ambulance moves to Oxford in May.

In fact, far from suffering from the ‘Brexit effect’, the UK has been experiencing a 5% increase UK wide since the beginning of the year, according to WINGX data analysis.

More hangar facilities

London Oxford Airport is responding to upped demand for more home-based and visiting business jets with the imminent completion of a brand new 16,000 sq.ft.-sized hangar (Bombardier Global 7000 compatible, plus offices.)  The hangar doors go on this week and space is already being allocated.  “With the continuing demand for hangarage we are working on plans for the next major expansion to the north of the current site fulfilling the need for aircraft residency (there are some 25 business jets residing at the airport) and on-site MRO capability is provided by Gama Aviation, Excellence Aviation, Volare Aviation, P3 Engineering, A2B Aero, Airbus Helicopters and CAE OAA.

Premier Inn opening on the airport site next summer

Further infrastructure enhancements confirmed early this year include a brand new 101-room Premier Inn hotel which will be built at the entrance to the airport, catering for air crew; owners and pilots bringing aircraft in for maintenance and friends and families visiting air cadets at resident pilot training schools CAE Oxford Aviation Academy and Airways Aviation.  The hotel is scheduled to open summer next year.

On the operational front, London Oxford Airport has been working closely with the UK Civil Aviation Authority on the Airspace Change Proposal consultation, which concluded last week.  It is being proposed that GNSS RNAV LPV200 precision approaches are introduced at both ends of runway for maximum access, ideally with the establishment of additional approach lights on RWY 01 – affording a major improvement in poor weather capability.

IS-BAH Stage II award accreditation

London Oxford Airport, which was awarded IS-BAH Stage II approval from ICAO earlier this year (only the second airport in the UK to be endorsed with such a high standard and ahead of a single FBO in the USA) continues to offer the London region the most attractive packages for business jet and helicopter interlining.   It offers a 50% discount for customers using both London Oxford Airport and the London Heliport, under its shared ownership.

Another notable trend in 2017 was fuel sales. London Oxford Airport together with fuel provider Air BP sold close to 4.5 million litres, primarily to aircraft over eight tonnes.