London Oxford Airport retained its position as the sixth busiest airport for business aviation in mainland UK in 2015 and its OxfordJet FBO ranked fourth for aircraft throughput during the year, handling some 8,000 business aviation passengers.
Its international business aviation arrivals were up 24.7% in April compared with the same period in 2015 and up 8.4% on movements for the year to date. Business jet activity overall (including domestic and international flights) was up 10.9% in April this year over the same period in 2015 and up 3% overall in the year so far. It also saw an uptick in the number of business jets interlining with helicopters headed for co-owned The London Heliport, which achieved its best year in terms of movements since 2008. The Heliport now sees nearly 20% of its movements associated with interlining for private jets eliminating all concerns about unpredictable surface transport to London’s airports.
“What we are seeing is that the fleet mix here has changed,” says Head of Business Development James Dillon-Godfray, especially with more Bombardier Challengers, Globals and Gulfstreams coming through. The Cessna Citation Excel/XLS continues to be the most popular business aircraft at Oxford, while smaller aircraft like the Citation M2 and Pilatus PC-12s have become more prolific in the line-up.
EASA Airport status in April
This April London Oxford Airport was formally certificated an EASA Airport, a transition from being under the UK CAA’s jurisdiction, becoming one of a very few general aviation/business aviation airports to have made the tranisition in Europe, to date. OxfordJet’s FBO received IS-BAH accreditation (International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling) last autumn, which few European FBOs have so far and it is also in fuel partner Air BP’s OMEGA compliance programme, (one of only three in UK), maintaining the highest standards of quality control and delivery of fuel. The airport is also OEM-trained and authorised for Gulfstream aircraft handling and altogether it is a leading business aviation airport for compliance on Safety Management Systems, quality control and standards.
More Middle East arrivals
Some 95% of business aviation traffic departing London Oxford Airport is destined for prime European destinations, the top four being Paris, Malaga, Nice and Cannes. Other popular destinations include Zurich, Palma, Milan, Dublin, plus Bern, Chambery and Olbia. There has also been a notable increase in Middle East traffic with more movements from Abu Dhabi (Al Bateen Executive), Bahrain, Dubai, Beirut, Tel Aviv and growth on Moscow flights. The number of US arriving flights has also picked up these past 12 months.
Parallel with the growth in flight activity, London Oxford Airport has been pleased to welcome new tenant companies to the airport these past 18 months. These include Excellence Aviation which has opened a third party MRO supporting Bombardier business jets. Up and Airway enlarged its aircraft valet and washing service at Oxford Airport; Volare Aviation has also established a larger presence at Oxford with its growing business aircraft sales brokerage, now in its own hangar facility. In March this year the rapidly growing flight training school, Airways Aviation established its new global headquarters at the airport having migrated their former operation from Coventry, to offer EASA approved training, as demand for high-calibre commercial flight training increases.
Gama Aviation growth at London Oxford Airport
Gama Aviation, which acquired former resident Hangar8 based at London Oxford Airport at the end of 2014, has been building up its MRO activity at the airport, focusing on Challenger, Globals, Hawker and Embraer Legacy types. It currently recruits a team of 25, headed by Base Manager Scott Corbett and plans to expand in parallel with the airport’s growth. “We have a well-positioned MRO network, but we didn’t have the capability for large jet services at our (Farnborough) base, so our business at Oxford represents a good strategic opportunity to extend the value we can provide our clients,” said Duncan Daines, Group Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud to have Oxford as one of our bases and will look to grow our services in line with our ambitions.”
London Oxford Airport is one of the primary London region options for the business aviation community. Coupled with the jointly owned and operated London Heliport at Battersea, it offers a unique package to clients using both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.