For the first time, London Oxford Airport and oxfordjet, its award winning FBO, will be participating at NBAA, taking place in Las Vegas, USA from 10-12 October, booth #N616. The airport’s senior management team will be highlighting the benefits of the airport and its bolstered aircraft support capabilities ahead of London hosting the Olympics in July 2012.
“London Oxford Airport has many benefits over other London airports,” said Business Development Director James Dillon-Godfray. “With the Olympics in summer 2012 fast approaching these benefits will put us in a great position. Being located to the north west of London, with access to the capital via the fastest motorway, with the least congestion of any London arterial route, is a notable advantage.”
London Oxford Airport is outside the 2012 London ‘Restricted Zone’, so there will currently be no flight plan constraints, particularly for VFR flights. The airport is also outside the congested London Terminal Manoeuvring Area (LTMA) which is usually the busiest airspace in Europe and will be even busier during the Olympics. Oxford’s opening hours, 06:00-22:30, seven days a week, are notably longer than several other London alternative airports. The airport will extend the opening hours to midnight during the peak Olympic period, subject to demand. London Oxford Airport has lower costs than most other London regional airports and provides on-site service support for most common business aircraft types. The airport also has full-time, on-site Police/Special Branch support for assistance with VVIP, Head-of-State, close protection and all other security necessities. In addition, Thames Valley Police HQ is based at the airport, complete with an armoury.
With most international visitors opting to stay in London’s West End, Oxford Airport is ideally located, just 40 miles from Greater London and within an hour’s drive into London’s West End via the UK’s motorway network. In addition, a new rail timetable has dramatically improved journey times from the Oxford area to London. Bicester North station, a 15 minute taxi ride from Oxford Airport, has had journey times to London reduced to as little as 41 minutes following extensive improvements and investment by the rail network. On schedule for 2012, a new rail station between north Oxford city and the airport, will connect to London’s Marylebone station for the first time in just 55 minutes with regular services every 30 minutes. A bus link from that new station to Oxford Airport will take around five minutes once established.
Oxford is also an ideal base for international visitors. It boasts several thousand hotel rooms, up to 5-star standard, within 15 minutes drive of the airport and offers considerably better value than the central-London alternatives. There is crew accommodation within just five minutes of the airport and the region is renowned for its tourist attractions, being the third most visited city in England outside of London, and voted the UK’s ‘Most Beautiful City’ by Conde Nast Traveller in 2011. It is also perfectly located for other major UK tourist attractions, including Bath, Windsor, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick Castle, the Cotswolds and Henley.
In addition, the airport has recently added bedroom facilities in the terminal building. This complements the on-site overnight bed and breakfast facilities and sports and fitness centre which is unique to any GA/business aviation airport in the UK.
London Oxford Airport recently took the decision to install the latest generation radar system at the airport, which will be fully operational in good time ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games. The primary and secondary (Mode-S, MSSR) surveillance radar system, supplied by Thales with project management by NATS, will enable more efficient transits through local airspace as well as increase the throughput of IFR flight activity.
During the last 12-months, London Oxford Airport’s runway has had its weight bearing strength verified at PCN38, sufficient for the largest mainstream regional jets and liners, such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing BBJ family. Oxford based, Hangar 8 plc’s Lineage (EMB-190), the longest charterable business jet on the UK register, has been the largest type based at the airport to date.
In August London Oxford Airport took delivery of a brand new fire tender, representing an investment of more than half a million pounds. The tender, supplied by ITURRI Group of Spain has already been introduced into service. “Our goal is to introduce up to three new engines to our fleet within the next five years as part of our ongoing priority to improve Oxford Airport’s safety services,” said Mike Sparrow, Airport Manager. Ground service equipment has also been upgraded during the summer with a new £60,000 Lektro tug suitable for 55-tonne jets.
London Oxford Airport is the only General Aviation/Business Aviation Airport for the north or west of London region with full DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs). With a dedicated team trained to process the paperwork and to meet and greet pets and their owners/handlers on arrival to undertake necessary pre-disembarkation checks, London Oxford Airport provides a hassle-free option for anyone wishing to travel with their pets. From 01 January 2012, it will become cheaper and easier to travel abroad with pets when new rules are introduced. The UK will harmonise its pet movement rules with the rest of the EU, bringing the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) into line with the most recent European-wide pet importation regulations.
London Oxford Airport hosts some seven AOC charter companies and five MRO engineering support businesses with more than 25 companies, employing 800 staff as the Thames Valley region’s major aviation hub in the GA and business aviation sector. Last year Oxford’s business aviation traffic increased by 18%, of which jet traffic was up 31%) whilst Europe as a whole only saw an increase of 5.3% and the UK alone just a 1.6% increase. The airport is the fifth busiest commercial airport in the UK for business aviation, just behind London City Airport.
Originally offered at last year’s NBAA Convention, London Oxford Airport will continue to extend its unique ‘150 Deal’ to first-time, international, transatlantic visitors through to April 2012. The deal consists of very low, first time visitor costs fixed at US$150 (£100) for either landing fees, daily parking costs or handling costs along with nightly costs for crew accommodation in a 5-star hotel in Oxford and chauffeur-driven transport to or from London.