Oxford Airport

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London Oxford Airport

Oxford Airport

Kidlington Airport
Oxford Airport ATC Tower.jpg
Airport typePrivate-owned, public-use
Owner/OperatorOxford Aviation Services Limited / OxfordJet
LocationKidlington, Oxfordshire
Elevation AMSL270 ft / 82 m
Coordinates51°50′13″N 001°19′12″W / 51.83694°N 1.32000°W / 51.83694; -1.32000Coordinates: 51°50′13″N 001°19′12″W / 51.83694°N 1.32000°W / 51.83694; -1.32000
EGTK is located in Oxfordshire
Location in Oxfordshire
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 1,552 5,092 Asphalt
Statistics (2022)
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]

London Oxford Airport (IATA: OXF, ICAO: EGTK), formerly known as 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,[1] 62 mi (100 km) from Central London.[2]

It specialises in general and business aviation and is home to CAE Oxford, formerly Oxford Aviation Training, Volare Aviation and Leading Edge Aviation. It is the only ICAO-listed civilian airport in Oxfordshire. 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, however, growth in business aviation was the fastest of any UK airport for the years up to 2012. After the COVID-19 pandemic the airport saw an increase in movements, totalling 65,265, over 20,000 more than 2019.[3]

London Oxford Airport is an EASA Certified Airport that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the Certificate Holder (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.

The following units were here at some point:[4]


By 1968, it had become the second busiest airfield in the UK, with 223,270 movements – just 10% fewer than Heathrow. For 5 years just after World War II (1951–1956) Kidlington was base of operations for the Oxford Gliding Club. They later moved due to an increase of powered aircraft activity. They relocated to RAF Weston-On-The-Green.[5]

The Main Apron at London Oxford Airport

In 1981, the airport freehold was sold by the council and later owned by BBA Aviation plc. In July 2007 the airport was sold for £40m to property entrepreneurs David and Simon Reuben.[6]

A new Saturday-only summer service to Jersey, operated by Air Southwest, ran from July to September 2009.[7] The summer service came back in 2010, operated by CityJet.

In August 2009 the airport was rebranded as London Oxford Airport despite its distance from the capital. The move attracted much press comment,[8][9][10] and criticism from the Oxford Civic Society, which described the new name as misleading;[11] the airport is 60 miles (97 km) from Marble Arch in central London and generally considered to be well outside the London area.[12] However, it was argued that highlighting proximity to London would make the airport more attractive to the overseas business aviation community and now the airport hosts the fourth busiest business aviation handling facility (FBO) in the UK.[12]

In October 2009, London Oxford Airport was approved as a UK entry point for pets, under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).[13] It was one of only two UK business aviation centres to offer this service at the time.

Swiss airline Baboo's weekly Saturday service from Oxford to Geneva commenced in December 2009. The service was augmented by a link to Rome through Alitalia Airlines; passengers were thus able to travel from Oxford to Rome, via Geneva.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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 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.

Leading Edge Aviation at London Oxford Airport


Training flights comprise 35% of the airport's activity; mostly from Leading Edge Aviation, CAE Oxford and Pilot Flight Training. Business aviation, both private and charter, comprises 10% of operations, and the remaining 55% is mainly private and recreational general aviation activity.[3]

The airport's proximity (about 25 miles (40 km)) to Silverstone Circuit attracts an increase in business aviation activity during the British Grand Prix. As well as the Formula One event, the Moto GP also brings air charter flights for passengers and teams attending the event.[citation needed]

Principal companies based at Oxford Airport include CAE Oxford, Leading Edge Aviation,[18] Airbus Helicopters, Volare Aviation, Go Fly Oxford,[19] Pilot Flight Training[20] and Capital Air Services.[21]

In December 2009, Oxford was voted the Best British Business Aviation Airport at the Airport Operators Association Annual Awards Ceremony in London.[citation needed]

In late 2021, a new hangar was completed. At 63,000 square feet (5,900 m2) and 140 metres (460 ft) long, it can hold several Bombardier Global 7500, Gulfstream G650/G700/G800 and Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft, complete with an attached office block. Seven helipads were built at the same time.[22]

A new Fuel Farm Facility was opened in early 2022, allowing for an increased capacity of Jet A1 and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).[citation needed] A new airside Self Service Avgas facility was also installed, allowing for visiting light aircraft to easily refuel using a Credit Card.

The airport upgraded its Rescue Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) Category to CAT 6,[when?] allowing for short notice diversions and acceptance of larger aircraft to use the airport, such as the Boeing 737-700 BBJ, Airbus A320 and Embraer E-Jet E2 family.[citation needed]


ITA Airways Airbus A319 at London Oxford Airport

The airport has considered new scheduled routes, including flights to Amsterdam, Belfast, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Jersey, Munich and Paris.[citation needed] These markets are said to be the more viable routes for the airport. In December 2015, the UK government confirmed funding support for a proposed reinstatement of the Oxford – Edinburgh route.[23]

However, the primary focus today is the London region business aviation market where the airport is the sixth busiest for this sector in the UK, but hosts the fourth-busiest FBO (Fixed-Base Operation – VIP aircraft handling facility) with over 5,500 business aircraft movements a year. Within the private and business aviation sector, the airport handled over 8,000 private passengers in 2015 whilst such flights were originating from or destined for well over 50 different overseas airports including the US, Canada, African and Middle-Eastern cities.

The airport is currently undergoing a modernisation and expansion program with a new fire station being constructed, enhancing the airport's CAT 6 fire cover capability, along with three RFFS Tenders, the first of which is expected to be delivered in late 2022.[22][needs update]

A joint construction of a new MRO facility is underway for the UK headquarters of Airbus Helicopters. The 14-acre (5.7 ha), £40+ million site is expected to be completed in 2024.[24]

The northern taxiway is being rerouted and extended to the end of the runway, removing the need for backtracking for departure, and moving the noise away from local residents. The first phase was completed and the first aircraft used the taxiway on 8 November 2022.[25] The second phase of the taxiway is set to be operational by early 2023.

Technical information[edit]

ATC Tower at London Oxford Airport

The main runway (Code 3C) is fully grooved and 1,552 m (5,092 ft).[26] 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).[26] In early 2012, a new Thales primary and secondary radar system was installed.

In 2008 a new £2.5m business aviation terminal was completed (FBO) and is operated by OxfordJet. The airport can handle aircraft up to and including the Boeing BBJ and Airbus ACJ series.[26] For the business aviation operator, the airport is an approximately 90-minute drive time from the West End area of central London but offers helicopter shuttles in 25 minutes to central London's Battersea Heliport which is co-owned with London Oxford Airport.[27]


Oxford Airport is served by a seven-day Oxford Airport Shuttle bus service to and from Oxford Parkway railway station, Oxford city railway station and Oxford bus station. Other local bus services operated by the Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach West connect the airport to the town. Although Oxford Airport is located approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the Cherwell Valley Line, it has no direct rail service. The nearest railway stations are Oxford Parkway, Hanborough, Tackley and Islip.[28]


Annual passenger traffic at OXF airport. See Wikidata query.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • In 1941, pioneer aviator Amy Johnson went off course while on a flight to Oxford Airport from Blackpool and crashed in the Thames Estuary.
  • 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 found no cause for the crash.[29] There were no technical problems with the plane. The plane went into an uncontrolled roll and crashed, killing Paul-Louis Halley, a French billionaire, his wife and the pilot.
  • An Oxford Aviation Training aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff in August 2006.[30] 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.[31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Oxford/Kidlington – EGTK". Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Charing Cross to Oxford Airport". Google Maps. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Annual airport data 2021 | Civil Aviation Authority". www.caa.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  4. ^ "Kidlington (Oxford)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Airport History". London Oxford Airport. Oxford Aviation Services Ltd. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ Prosser, David (21 July 2007). "Reubens brothers buy Oxford airport". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  7. ^ "Air Southwest to operate Oxford-Jersey flights". Archived from the original on 23 August 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  8. ^ The Guardian : 18 August 2009 : New York, Paris...Oxford? Retrieved 20 August 2009
  9. ^ The Telegraph : 19 August 2009 : London Oxford Airport – a Tale of Two Cities Retrieved 20 August 2009
  10. ^ The Times : 19 August 2009 : Plane Speaking Retrieved 20 August 2009
  11. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation : 17 August 2009 : London Airport Name Change Row Retrieved 19 August 2009
  12. ^ a b Oxford Mail : Outrage at Airport Rebranding
  13. ^ Oxford Mail : Airport offers VIP treatment for pets. Retrieved 12 October 2009
  14. ^ Oxford Mail : Oxford Airport makes Italian connection. Retrieved 10 December 2009
  15. ^ Oxford Mail:Edinburgh Flights Grounded A Week After Launch Retrieved 11 March 2010
  16. ^ Oxford Mail : The fall of Varsity Express Retrieved 20 March 2010
  17. ^ BBC News:London Oxford Airport sets out £2.2m expansion plan Retrieved 2010-30-07
  18. ^ "Leading Edge Aviation".
  19. ^ "Learn to Fly – Flying Lessons & Pilot Training in Oxford & London". www.goflyoxford.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Pilot Flight Training – Flying Lessons – Trial Flying Lesson – Oxford – Oxfordshire- Home – Pilot Flight Training". Pilot Flight Training. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Private helicopter charter and management – Capital Air Services". Capital Air Services. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  22. ^ a b "London Oxford to build new MRO facility and hangar". Corporate Jet Investor. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  23. ^ "London Oxford Airport (OXF) – Unserved Routes in the Route Shop". www.therouteshop.com. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  24. ^ Ahlgren, Linnea (27 May 2022). "Airbus Commits To Construction Of New Helicopter Headquarters At London Oxford Airport". Simple Flying. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  25. ^ Twitter https://twitter.com/oxfordairportuk/status/1589918056184094720. Retrieved 11 November 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ a b c "eAIS Package United Kingdom". www.aurora.nats.co.uk. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  27. ^ "OXFORD AIRPORT | London Heliport & Helicopter Shuttle". Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Transport links to Oxford Airport". London Oxford Airport. Archived from the original on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  29. ^ AAIB Bulletin No: 5/2005. Ref EW/C2003/12/03 (PDF)
  30. ^ AAIB Bulletin No: 2/2007, G-BYKR. Ref EW/C2006/08/06 (PDF) Retrieved 17 October 2009
  31. ^ "Two people killed in plane crash". BBC News. 15 January 2010.
  32. ^ "Piper PA-31P Pressurised Navajo, N95RS" (PDF). AAIB. November 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to London Oxford Airport at Wikimedia Commons