Gloucester M5 Airport
|Operator||Gloucestershire Airport Limited|
|Serves||M5 Area, Gloucester|
|Elevation AMSL||101 ft / 31 m|
Gloucestershire Airport (IATA: GLO, ICAO: EGBJ), formerly Staverton Airport, is a small airport at Churchdown, England. It lies 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) west of Cheltenham, near the city of Gloucester and close to the M5 motorway. Its operator claims it to be Gloucestershire's largest general aviation airfield, and it is regularly used for private charter flights to destinations such as Jersey and Guernsey.
An airfield was opened in 1931, named after the local village of Down Hatherley; the change of name to Staverton followed relocation to the present site, near Staverton village. The airfield served as a training base for pilots during the Second World War and was known as RAF Staverton. It was later used by Alan Cobham as he developed in-flight refuelling. A pillbox that was part of the British anti-invasion preparations of the Second World War can still be found opposite the main airfield entrance. With its proximity to Cheltenham, it was also used extensively by the U.S. Army, particularly the Service of Supply under its commanding general, Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee, who was responsible for all supply and administrative functions of U.S. forces in Britain, beginning in May 1942.
After the war, what is now Smiths Group used the airport as a test site for various aircraft. At the same time the airport provided scheduled services to the Channel Islands, Dublin and Isle of Man. In the 1960s the Skyfame Museum, dedicated to World War II aircraft, opened.
In the 1990s, both the Police Aviation Services and Bond Air Services stationed helicopters and their headquarters at Staverton. In 1993, its name was changed to Gloucestershire Airport in an effort to "reflect its increasing prominence as the business aviation centre for the county".
During the 1990s, Staverton was the home of the MidWest production facility where the company manufactured the MidWest AE series of single- and twin-rotor Wankel aero-engines for light aircraft. The twin-rotor engine was first installed into two ARV Super2 aircraft. Midwest was eventually closed down, and its assets bought by Austrian manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Industries.
Between 2013 and 2017, Citywing operated scheduled flights from the airport, describing it as "Gloucester (M5) Airport" and marketing it as an alternative to Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport and to a lesser extent Oxford Airport.
In 2009, the airport was granted planning permission for expansion, first proposed in 2006, which included lengthening a runway. The plans were controversial and proved divisive amongst the local community and authorities. In March 2015, Gloucestershire Airport announced that it will look to provide more flights, more hangars and more profits in the coming years as part of a new vision for the transport hub. The business plan will see £6 million invested in the airport between 2015 and 2025.
Services and facilities
Many of the flights to and from the airport are for business purposes, but there are also recreational flights and training flights.
The airport houses several flying clubs for private pilots including Bristol Aero Club, Cotswold Aero Club and the Staverton Flying School alongside commercial pilot training from Aeros and Skyborne Aviation, together with specialist helicopter trainers JK Helicopter Training, who also provide gift/pleasure helicopter flights. People are able to undertake their pilot's licence training at the airport.
Executive Aviation Services offer type ratings on Cessna Citation business jets, as well as aircraft acquisition, management and business jet charters to a number of destinations in Europe and Scandinavia using Citation Bravos.
Airlines and destinations
The majority of Gloucestershire Airport's movements are operated by private aircraft.
Citywing previously flew a minimum of five weekly to the Isle of Man during the winter months and up to 25 times weekly during the summer peak season. The Jersey route was flown three times per month during the peak season between July and September, but was not operated during the winter months. This service ended in March 2017, after the airline was liquidated.
|Number of Passengers||Aircraft Movements|
|Source: CAA Official Statistics|
On 14 November 2014, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and its listeners set a new world record for the longest line of cakes, to raise money for Children in Need. Volunteers around the region baked 14,392 cupcakes which were laid in a line at the airport. At about 16:45 GMT, an adjudicator from Guinness confirmed the breaking of the world record which now stands at 885.6 metres (2,906 ft) of cakes. The previous record of 606 metres (1,988 ft) was set in Colombia in 2013.
- Gloucestershire – EGBJ
- "Data and analysis - UK Civil Aviation Authority". Archived from the original on 16 October 2014.
- According to the sign at the entrance to the airport (see photo on official web site) it's "The Southwest's Premier General Aviation Airport"
- History Archived 1 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Manx2 Press Release Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine referring to Gloucestershire Airport as Gloucester (M5)
- Tewkesbury Council – Planning Applications 06/01668/FUL, 06/01669/FUL, 06/01670/FUL and 06/01671/FUL; for others, search using Gloucestershire Airport in Applicant Name
- "Frequently Asked Questions". Gloucestershire Airport. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012.
- BBC Gloucestershire Feature on Gloucestershire Airport expansion, 2008, including audio interview with airport director and local views
- "CASE - Concerned residents Against Staverton Expansion".
- "Gloucestershire Airport sets out new vision for more flights, more hangars and more profits". Gloucester Citizen. 17 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Bristol Aero Club". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Cotswold Aero Club". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Staverton Flying School". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Aeros Flight Training". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Skyborne Airline Academy". Skyborne Airline Academy. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "JK Helicopter Training Gloucestershire". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Gloucestershire Airport Webcam".
- "Data and analysis - UK Civil Aviation Authority".
- "BBC Radio Gloucestershire sets longest cake line record". BBC News. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
Media related to Gloucestershire Airport at Wikimedia Commons