Oxford AirportEdit profile
Oxford Airport (IATA: OXF, ICAO: EGTK), also known as London Oxford Airport or Kidlington Airport, is a privately owned airport located near Kidlington in Cherwell District, Oxfordshire, 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) northwest by north of Oxford, 52 mi (84 km) from West London. It specialises in general and business aviation and is home to Oxford Aviation Academy, formerly Oxford Aviation Training, the largest air training school in Europe. It is the only ICAO-listed civilian airport in Oxfordshire, and along with Coventry, is one of the two commercial airports between Heathrow (LHR) and Birmingham (BHX). Historically dominated by pilot training, in 2008, flying activity fell to just 48,000 movements, the lowest level on record and a 70% decline in 10 years.
Oxford (Kidlington) Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P810) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Oxford Aviation Services Limited).History
The airport was originally established in 1935 by Oxford City Council to act as municipal airport, but following RAF use (as RAF Kidlington) during World War II, it became established as a centre for aviation education, charter and maintenance facilities. By 1968, it had become the second busiest airfield in the UK, with 223,270 movements - just 10% fewer movements than Heathrow.
In 1981, the airport freehold was sold by the council and later owned by BBA Aviation plc. In July 2007 the airport was sold to property entrepreneurs David and Simon Reuben.
A new "Saturday only" summer service to Jersey, operated by Air Southwest, ran from July to September 2009. The summer service came back in 2010, operated by Cityjet.
In August 2009 the airport was rebranded as London Oxford Airport. The move attracted much press comment, and criticism from Oxford Civic Society, which described the new name as misleading; the airport is 59 miles (95 km) from Marble Arch. However, it was argued that highlighting proximity to London would make the airport more attractive to the overseas business aviation community.
In October 2009, London Oxford Airport was approved as a UK entry point for pets, under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). It is one of only two UK business aviation centres to offer this service.
In November 2009, Great Experience Travel was designated the Official Travel Partner for London Oxford Airport, concentrating on flights to Geneva and Jersey.
Swiss airline Baboo's weekly Saturday service, from Oxford to Geneva, commenced in December 2009. The service is augmented by a link to Rome through Alitalia Airlines: passengers are thus able to travel from Oxford to Rome, via Geneva.
In January 2010 the airport announced the launch of daily flights to Edinburgh to be operated by new start-up, Varsity Express. However, flights were suspended within a week of commencement, and the airline ceased operations on 8 March 2010. A spokesman for Oxford Airport later confirmed that talks were under way with other operators, with a view to re-establishing the Oxford-Edinburgh route. It was emphasised, however, that only well-established operators would be invited to service the route.
Plans for a 17,800 m2 (192,000 sq ft) sq metre expansion of high-strength apron and a new 4,400 m2 (47,000 sq ft) hangar were outlined at the end of July 2010. The intention was to create capacity for up to 40 medium to large executive jets, in order to cater for major public events such as the Olympics.
In February 2011, plans to begin direct flights from Oxford to Palma were revealed by Oxford Airport Travel.Current
Today, airport activity is split with 35% pilot flight training, 10% business aviation (both private and charter) and the balance being mainly private and recreational general aviation activity.
Principal companies based at Oxford Airport include Eurocopter, Hawker Beechcraft, Hangar 8, Jet Connections, PremiAir, Flairjet, AirMed, Pilot Flight Training and Capital Air Services. London Executive Aviation based their Embraer Legacy 600 jet at Oxford Airport in 2009, and announced plans to base a Cessna Citation Mustang very light jet (VLJ) at the facility thereafter.
This airport stands to benefit from the development of the VLJ market, with the roll-out of aircraft such as the Cessna Citation Mustang, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Embraer Phenom 100s, as their profitability relies on curtailing operating costs.Airlines and destinations
The airport is currently looking to establish new routes out of the airport to help grow the airport and grow more into the comercial avaition market. The routes they are looking at are Edinburgh, Dublin, Munich, Amsterdam, Paris, Jersey, Glasgow and Barcelona. These markets are key targets for the airport, all these routes are targeted at business travelers who currently have to use London Heathrow which is far less convenient.Technical information
The main runway is 1,552 m (5,092 ft). In 2007 the airport re-surfaced, strengthened and widened the main runway, taxiways and aprons, and installed new airfield ground lighting and a CAT 1 instrument landing system (ILS). In 2008 a new £2.5m business aviation terminal was completed and is operated by Oxfordjet. For the business aviation operator, the airport lies approximately one hour drive time from the west end of London but offers helicopter shuttles in 20 minutes.Accidents and incidents
- In 1941, pioneer aviatrix Amy Johnson crashed in the Thames Estuary while on a flight en-route to Oxford Airport from Blackpool.
- On 6 December 2003, three people were killed at Oxford Airport when a Socata TBM 700 crashed while on approach. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch could find no cause for the crash. There were no technical problems with the plane, and they could only speculate that the pilot of the plane was distracted by a bird as he tried to land. The plane went into an uncontrolled roll, killing Paul-Louis Halley, a French billionaire, his wife and the pilot.
- An Oxford Aviation Training aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff in August 2006. The PA28 Piper Cherokee breached the airport’s perimeter fence, and came to a stop upside down on the adjoining public road. Despite significant aircraft damage and fuel leakage, no fire ensued, and no-one was hurt in the incident.
- On 15 January 2010, at about 1400GMT, a Piper PA-31 Navajo crashed by the A4095 (near the airport), killing two people. Four crews from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and the South Central Ambulance Service, attended, but the fire was not put out for 1 hour and 40 minutes due to the icy conditions and remote location making laying hoses difficult. The UK's AAIB will investigate.