Oxford Airport control tower
|IATA: OXF – ICAO: EGTK|
|Airport type||Private-owned, Public-use|
|Owner/Operator||Oxford Aviation Services Limited / OxfordJet|
|Elevation AMSL||270 ft / 82 m|
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, 62 mi (100 km) from Central 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).
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 than Heathrow.
In August 2009 the airport was rebranded as London Oxford Airport. The move attracted much press comment, and criticism from the Oxford Civic Society, which described the new name as misleading; the airport is 59 miles (95 km) from Marble Arch in central London and generally considered to be well outside the London area. However, it was argued that highlighting proximity to London would make the airport more attractive to the overseas business aviation community.
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 were 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, 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 that only well-established operators would be invited to service the route.
Plans for a 17,800 m2 (192,000 sq ft) 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 Olympic Games.
In February 2011, plans to begin direct flights from Oxford to Palma were revealed by Oxford Airport Travel.
In October 2011, it was announced that a one-off route from Oxford to New York-John F. Kennedy via Dublin would take place on 7–12 December of the same year with CityJet. The airport announced it is also trying to open a permanent route to Dublin in 2012 with Aer Lingus.
In January 2012, Manx2 announced the start of a scheduled service from Oxford to the Isle of Man, beginning in May 2012. By 2013, this became a short-term seasonal service focussed around the Isle of Man TT motorcycling event.
From March 2013 to August 2013, Minoan Air flew from Oxford to both Dublin and Edinburgh.
Today, 35% of the airport's activity is accounted for by Oxford Aviation Academy training student commercial pilots under a Civil Aviation Authority/European Aviation Safety Agency (CAA/EASA) licence. 10% is business aviation, both private and charter, and the remaining 55% is mainly private and recreational general aviation activity.
Principal companies based at Oxford Airport include Oxford Aviation Academy, Eurocopter, Hawker Beechcraft, Hangar 8, Jet Connections,Flairjet, AirMed, Pilot Flight Training and Capital Air Services. London Executive Aviation based its 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.
The airport is currently seeking to establish new scheduled routes, including flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Jersey, Munich and Paris. These markets are said to be key targets for the airport.
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 early 2012, a new state-of-the-art Thales radar system was installed. Oxford radar is currently available 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday, but will soon open 08:00 to 20:00 seven days a week. In 2008 a new £2.5m business aviation terminal was completed and is operated by Oxfordjet. The airport can handle aircraft up to and including the Boeing BBJ and Airbus ACJ series. For the business aviation operator, the airport lies approximately one hour drive time from the West End area of central 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 investigated the accident.
- Oxford Aviation Academy
- List of airports in the United Kingdom
- List of Royal Air Force stations
- List of former Royal Air Force stations
- Oxford-Cambridge Arc
- RAF Brize Norton
- Airports of London
- Oxford/Kidlington – EGTK
- "Charing Cross to Oxford Airport". Google Maps. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences
- Prosser, David (2007-07-21). "Reubens brothers buy Oxford airport". The Independent (London).
- Air Southwest to operate Oxford-Jersey flights
- The Guardian : 18 August 2009 : New York, Paris...Oxford? Retrieved 2009-08-20
- The Telegraph : 19 August 2009 : London Oxford Airport – a Tale of Two Cities Retrieved 2009-08-20
- The Times : 19 August 2009 : Plane Speaking Retrieved 2009-08-20
- British Broadcasting Corporation : 17 August 2009 : London Airport Name Change Row Retrieved 2009-08-19
- Oxford Mail : Outrage at Airport Rebranding
- Oxford Mail : Airport offers VIP treatment for pets. Retrieved 2009-10-12
- Oxford Mail : Oxford Airport makes Italian connection. Retrieved 2009-12-10
- Oxford Mail:Edinburgh Flights Grounded A Week After Launch Retrieved 2010-03-11
- Oxford Mail : The fall of Varsity Express Retrieved 2010-03-20
- BBC News:London Oxford Airport sets out £2.2m expansion plan Retrieved 2010-30-07
- London Oxford Airport: Charter and Air Taxi Retrieved 2013-01-22
- London Executive Aviation : LEA Launches Mustang Service at Oxford Retrieved 2009-08-22
- Oxford Airport: General Airport Info Retrieved 2011-05-13
- AAIB Bulletin No: 5/2005. Ref EW/C2003/12/03 (PDF)
- AAIB Bulletin No: 2/2007, G-BYKR. Ref EW/C2006/08/06 (PDF) Retrieved 2009-10-17
- "Two people killed in plane crash". BBC News. 2010-01-15.
- "Piper PA-31P Pressurised Navajo, N95RS" (PDF). AAIB. November 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
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