London Oxford Airport finished 2016 as the sixth busiest London airport for business and general aviation, ahead of London City Airportl It has also entered 2017 as the 16th busiest in Europe, in front of London Stansted and Northolt, according to the latest data from WINGX and Eurocontrol.
Significantly, the airport is regularly seeing larger business jets (over 40 tonnes), such as the Bombardier Global and Gulfstream G650, using its facilities.
The Oxfordjet FBO has seen an increase of 37% in such sized jets for the year-to-date (April) and a 46% increase over the last two years.
Overall, London Oxford’s jet movements were up 6.4% for 2016, with the airport handling a total of 5,629 business aviation movements. This figure accounts for turboprops and jets alone and excludes piston-engined twin aircraft used as air taxis.
Recreational general aviation movements decreased by 4%, but helicopter movements were up 25% for the year to over 6,000. Airbus Helicopters, whose UK home is at the airport, accounted for nearly 1,000 more movements on top of this figure.
London Oxford Airport is currently home to some 65-based aircraft. It has seen the amount of AOC activity grow 19.8% year-on-year and is well placed to support the expected crop of new entrants looking to take advantage of the new EASA rule endorsing CAT SETops (Single Engine Turboprops in commercial operations IFR).
The airport is already looking after a new Pilatus PC-12NG for a private owner and soon hopes to see UK operators place the likes of Caravans and PC-12s onto AOCs, both on charter and, in some cases, scheduled service provision.
The airport is responding to demand for more hangar space by building a new 15,250sqft single, stand-alone bay with 1,850sqft of adjacent offices external to the hangar (landside), plus 30 car parking spaces. Located at the end of Hangar 14, the newest development is scheduled to be available by year-end.
“The new building, both prominent and visible from the A44, is compatible with Bombardier Global 7000-sized aircraft, but could typically handle four Challenger-sized aircraft,” said London Oxford Airport’s Head of Business Development, James Dillon-Godfray.
Last autumn, Piper Aircraft established an office at London Oxford Airport for its UK representative. The OEM’s all new six-seater M600 Single Engined Turboprop, with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engines and Garmin avionics, is due to arrive at the airport for demos in late May as part of its 90-day European tour after showing at EBACE.
Alongside Piper, the airport has also, since the beginning of the year, welcomed new tenants hullo Aircrew, the new pilot app company; Travion, a flight management company, HeliGroup, which will offer PPL training and Cabri G2 sales; and Cirrus Flight Training.
In total, London Oxford Airport and its 25 plus tenants account for well over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the UK, with the arrival of the aforementioned new tenants due to add even more.