As part of a new strategic plan, London Oxford Airport has begun construction work on a new development phase.
Central to the work is a 63,000 sq. ft. 140m long hangar with two bays including rear offices, stores and workshops, capable of accommodating up to six Bombardier Global, Gulfstream or Dassault Falcon Jet models, simultaneously. The hangar will be the airport’s 15th such facility and the first in a new zone of the airport to the north of the original site. Work is expected to be complete this autumn.
This latest development is part of the airport’s plan to progressively replace 80-year-old hangars with new, bespoke facilities, providing turnkey solutions for clients. Hangar 15 will be used predominantly by established tenants, many of whom currently reside in some of the airport’s older WWII facilities, along with a number of larger business aircraft for which there has been limited capacity at Oxford.
With demand for space consistently outpacing supply within the London region, the airport is committed to invest in infrastructure to accommodate more business and allow companies such as Airbus Helicopters, Volare Aviation and Jet Maintenance International (JMI) to expand. The airport is home to a number of aviation support businesses (MRO) offering maintenance, engineering, modification, design and operational support services. The new environmentally-efficient facilities will support existing aircraft and future next-gen aircraft, including eVTOL and hybrid/ electric models.
Additional infrastructural projects at the airport include a large area of new aircraft parking apron, as well as seven new ICAO/ EASA/ CAA-compliant helipads supporting Airbus Helicopters and the growing number of commercial AOC helicopter businesses at London Oxford, such as MyHeli. These complement operations with the co-owned Edmiston London Heliport, which supports up to 12,000 movements per year and the capital’s essential police and air ambulance flights.
The airport is also due to start work on a new fire station to be established in a central position on the airport to house its recently ordered three Angloco Scania 26 tonne fire tenders.
A new fuel farm will enable a quadrupling of the capacity of the original facility, while also providing valuable space for additional future static tankage for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
“In a post-pandemic economic environment, it’s critical that the UK ramps up its capabilities and capacity to provide growth and further employement, espeically in high-value, high-skilled and knowledge-based industrial sectors,” said Will Curtis, Managing Director. “Aerospace and aviation are set to rebound and business aviation is leading the charge, so timing is crucial. Now we have put in the infrastructure for growth, we can build further facilities with relative ease and speed and further bolster employment opportunities – adding to the near on 1,000 employees based on site.”
Head of Business Development, James Dillon-Godfray, added: “We have long-established maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses that need to expand. These new developments allow us to move people around the airport to facilitate that. We are also in dialogue with several new entitities about joining us in the next few years, for which this capacity is essential.”
Effective 17 May, the airport will be opening up to non-essential travel in accordance with the UK Government’s easing of COVID-related constraints. However, despite the constraints the airport saw a five-fold increase in business flights in April compared with 2020.
“Further announcements on additional developments will be made as the year progresses, marking a new stage in the airport’s evolution,” concluded Dillon-Godfray.