London Oxford Airport, UK, handled over 100 commercial movements last weekend to experience its busiest ever two days on record for both business aviation and scheduled traffic. The sunny weather, the Henley Regatta and a number of local celebrity functions, including Kate Moss’ wedding, all contributed to an increase of 50% over and above normal weekend business aviation activity at the airport. Gulfstreams, Globals and chartered airliners filled the ramp in what was a useful trial run before next years’ Olympics. London Oxford would normally expect to handle around 20 business aviation movements per day.
July is now likely to be the year’s peak month for the airport with the Silverstone Grand Prix traffic and then the CLA Game Fair anticipating around 140,000 visitors, just a mile up the road at Blenheim Palace. Typically 50 ‘Flying Farmers’ and other grand estate owners fly in for the event. Regular charter flights to Jersey which commenced at the end of May are consistently recording very high load factors.
“This buoyant business is highly satisfying and demonstrates the attraction of our airport to both business/VIP and commercial travellers. Last weekend complemented a peak month of business aviation activity which saw arrivals from all over the globe whilst Mediterranean destinations dominated outbound movements. With the steady growth in business aviation, we expect this trend to continue during the summer.” said James Dillon-Godfray, Business Development Director at London Oxford Airport.
London Oxford Airport recently took the decision to install the latest generation radar system at the airport. 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. It is anticipated that the new system will be fully operational in good time ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, at which point a further considerable increase in demand for capacity is anticipated.