London Oxford Airport is stepping up its infrastructure projects to support its historic general aviation (light aircraft /pilot training) customers and its expanding commercial business aviation activity.
The latter experienced more growth in 2021 in percentage terms than other UK peer airports – up by almost 40% – with over 5,100 flights a year. Flight training activity, meanwhile, is up nearly 50% compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The airport’s new 63,000 sqft (6,000m2) 140m long Hangar No.15 , opened in October 2021, is almost full.
Another similar new hangar – No.1 6 is anticipated – and the airport is pleased to have finalised in May, an agreement to build a new aircraft maintenance and repair facility on the northeast corner of its site. To be built to the specification of a major OEM, which will lease it, the facility will cover 14 acres/5.5 hectares. It should be built within 24 months.
Investment has also been committed for the relocation and extension of Oxford’s northern taxiway. Involving a near £6m investment and eight months’ work, it will significantly speed up and handle aircraft movements on the ground more efficiently, especially on busy days when it’s not unusual to see 400 or more movements a day. More GA training aircraft will be able to do run-ups on the former crosswind runway, whilst all back-tracking will be eliminated on the main runway when the southern end (RWY 01) is in use.
“Business aviation, an important pillar of our business, will enjoy the OXF ‘Four Minute Mile’ from touchdown to driving off the airport estate (or vice-versa), on a much more frequent basis,” said the airport’s head of business development James Dillon-Godfray, noting 30% of flights use the southern end. “The relocation also allows for the re-development of the eastern zone for the anticipated evolution of the airport in the years to come.”
The airport’s new £1.7 million fire station build programme is due to go live in June, with brand new fire tenders arriving later this year, enhancing its full-time Category 6 fire cover.