London Oxford Airport is adding significant infrastructure to support 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. Flight training activity, meanwhile, is up nearly 50% compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The airport’s new 63,000 sq ft (6,000m2) 140m long Hangar No.15, which opened in October 2021, is almost full. Another similar new hangar (No.16) is anticipated and the airport has finalised this month an agreement to build a new aircraft maintenance and repair facility on the northeast corner of its site. This is to be built to the specification of a major OEM, which will lease it, with the facility to cover 14 acres (5.5 hectares).
A £6m investment is also being made to relocate and extend the airport’s northern taxiway. This work will take eight months and when opened will allow shorten taxi times and make aircraft movements on the ground more efficient, especially on busy days when it is not unusual for there to be 400 or more movements. 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 (Runway 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. “The relocation also allows for the re-development of the eastern zone for the anticipated evolution of the airport in the years to come,” he stated.
Construction of the airport's new £1.7m fire station is due to start in June, with brand new fire tenders arriving later this year, enhancing the full-time Category 6 fire cover.