London Oxford Airport upgrades Fire and Rescue Service to full-time Category 6
London Oxford Airport has commenced the New Year with a significant upgrade of its Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (RFFS) to Category 6. The enhanced status follows the introduction of replacement fire tenders, allowing for associated changes in manned resources at the UK’s fifth busiest business aviation airport.
Previously, customers had to pre-book and pay for an upgrade from the standard Category 4 RFFS, which required notice. Now, it’s available as standard airport service without any additional charge and on immediate demand. A further advantage, especially for operators coming in with larger business jets, is that the airport can be a viable alternative for weather-related (or other diversion reasons) from elsewhere. Operators coming in with larger aircraft types will have the peace of mind that the requisite fire cover is now always available.
“This latest development is testament to our investment in and dedication to safety and service, particularly as movements in large cabin private jets at the airport continue to grow,” commented Will Curtis, London Oxford Airport’s Managing Director.
The airport has welcomed an increased number of long-range and ultra-long range business jets these past 12 months, with customers from further afield finding London Oxford Airport to be a convenient and hassle-free option for access to the north and west side of London, as well as the Thames Valley.
Bizjet movements up over 30% in 2021
London Oxford Airport’s business jet movements in 2021 were 33% up over 2020. The last 12 months proved to be its best on record for 15 years (when the Reuben Brothers acquired the airport from BBA Aviation) netting a total 66,000 aircraft movements and 10,000 passengers handled through its OxfordJet FBO. This compares with 46,000 aircraft movements in 2020 and 48,000 in 2019. Total aircraft movements were 57% up on the decade’s average and 44% over year 2020.
“Our popularity as an alternative London airport is partly due to our excellent operating hours – available from 06:00hrs to midnight, seven days a week,” added James Dillon-Godfray, Head of Business Development. “This new assured Category 6 capability gives aircraft operators and flight planning organisations even greater confidence that access is assured for their larger aircraft types – all the time.”
London Oxford Airport can handle regional airliner types such as the Embraer E195 with 100-plus seats on charters through its FBO, plus Boeing BBJ (B737) and Airbus Corporate Jets ACJ320 series bizliners, including the new TwoTwenty (A220 derivative). The enhanced fire cover can facilitate them year-round.
“With business aviation activity 38% up compared with pre-pandemic levels, London Oxford Airport is well positioned to support the prerequisite demand for leading bizjet operators for routine, no-hesitation access,” added James Dillon-Godfray. Facilities were bolstered with the November opening of Hangar 15, a 63,000 sq. ft (6,000m2), 140m long hangar, suitable for up to six more Bombardier Global or Gulfstream-sized aircraft.
“As the airport evolves, we will continue to grow our capabilities to ensure we maintain our industry-leading standards across the board,” he concluded.