Following the reintroduction of replacement fire tenders, allowing for associated changes in manned resources at London Oxford Airport, the business aviation hub has upgraded its rescue and fire fighting services (RFSS) to Category 6.
“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,” said Will Curtis, London Oxford Airport’s Managing Director.
Prior to the upgrade, customers had to pre-book and pay for an upgrade from the standard Category 4 RFFS, which required notice. The service is now available as a standard airport service without any additional charge and on immediate demand.
The airport has welcomed an increased number of long-range and ultra-long-range business jets over the past 12 months, with Oxford Airport offering a convenient and hassle-free option for access to the UK capital, as well as the Thames Valley region. For these large business jet operators, the airport now offers a viable alternative for flights diverted from elsewhere for weather-related or other reasons.
London Oxford experienced an increase in business jet movements in 2021, which were up 33% on 2020 movements. The last 12 months proved to be the airport’s best on record for 15 years, netting a total of 66,000 aircraft movements and 10,000 passengers handled through its OxfordJet FBO.
James Dillon-Godfray, London Oxford Airport’s Head of Business Development, said: “Our popularity as an alternative London airport is partly due to our excellent operating hours – available from 06:00 to midnight, seven days a week. 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.”
Capable of handling 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. “As the airport evolves, we will continue to grow our capabilities to ensure we maintain our industry-leading standards across the board.”
Facilities were bolstered with the November opening of Hangar 15, a 63,000 sq ft (6,000 m2), 140 metre long hangar, suitable for up to six more Bombardier Global or Gulfstream-sized aircraft.