Oxford EGTK OXF
I think it is a missed opportunity? Do you think it has a future?
FlyBe for example could have a good London (ish) base at OXF
The Q400 (& 146) would be the ideal type for routes from here?
Do we need really need another airport in this general region. Maybe?
I have not visited OXF
for many years but going by the info on the website any commercial flight development would be fairly straight forward?
The info below is from Oxford's website:
By mid-2007, Oxford Airport will be replacing its 33 year old main runway with a stronger and wider surface and installing an instrument landing system permitting all weather, safer approaches. The new 1553m (5095ft) by 30m Marshall asphalt runway will be fully grooved again for enhanced friction characteristics in the wet and will essentially be much the same as that found at London City Airport (LCY
) as a Code 2C runway, permitting access for a variety of regional airline types including the popular Dash-8, ATR and BAe 146 aircraft. Such types have already used Oxford in the past, either positioning privately, or for maintenance-related visits. Our primary focus today is on developing services and facilities for the business aviation market (referred to occasionally as 'Corporate' or 'Executive' Aviation) which operates aircraft on a sole-use chartered or private basis. This has been driven by a significant decline in pilot training activity upon which the airport has been dependent for most of its 70 year history. Nevertheless, we recognise the potential demand for limited commercial (scheduled) services on certain niche routes. Increased Air Taxi usage in recent times shows a growing market amongst business professionals for efficient door to door air services maximising productivity and indeed saving costs on wasted travel time and unnecessary overnight stopovers. Oxford also sees opportunities to develop engineering services for all types of aircraft that can access our 5,095ft runway including regional aircraft, both jets and turboprops. Recently completed hangars now allow us to accommodate such aircraft for the first time at Oxford.
A typical niche service which was explored by both the airport and independent operators was the much publicised Oxford-Cambridge air service. This was an alternate to the tiresome car, train and coach options which can take over three hours each way. With a flight time of just 25 minutes, the service eliminated the need to spend the whole day commuting and instead whisked people to Cambridge and back in a more refreshed and relaxed state of mind. Unfortunately, the initial operation in February 2006 was hampered by both operational and financial difficulties and has been withdrawn for the time being.
Several smaller turboprop and jet aircraft are quite capable in principle of utilising Oxford's mile long runway with what is the same landing distance as London's City airport. However, these aircraft types in the main are used more commonly for business travelers rather than for recreational or holiday travelers, with higher costs per seat mile. However, the advantage Oxford offers for the smaller regional or niche operator is that they can establish new routes without the threat of predatory moves by mainstream low-cost carriers with larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737. Such aircraft could not access Oxford on a commercial basis. From niche destinations such as east-west UK routes linking perhaps the South West to Cambridge, Nottingham or Newquay, to primary routes such as Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast, Paris and Dublin, a small demand has been identified over the years from regular enquiries and as such, considerations have been given to how this demand might be satisfied in the longer term, more than likely with the smaller regional turboprop types.
Oxford Airport is superbly located geographically, demographically and in terms of accessibility. The proximity of the M40, A34, A40 and A44 provides excellent access from potentially one of the most lucrative catchment areas in the country. As the only regional airport within a 50 mile radius, in the heart of the southern central UK area, the city of Oxford is relatively isolated for access to regular services when benchmarked against European norms.
With Oxfordshire resident's somewhat tedious access to commercial air services elsewhere, significant inward tourism, and large catchment area population, we believe there is some viability for the establishment of limited services.
There are 5.8m people within 60 minutes drive from Surrey to Solihull - excluding the population of west London
There are no other commercial airports closer than +50 miles
Oxford City is the sixth most visited city in the UK with 7.7m visitors annually, yet it is only one without access to adjacent, regular air services
Oxford has the highest number of bus services per capita in the UK
Oxford's visitors made 9.6 million night stays and spent £523 million in 2003, of which 'business' tourism accounted for 25% of all trips and 31% of total spend
Oxford is centered amongst the prime visitor destinations outside of London including Bath, the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Windsor
The region within a one hour drive of Oxford sees more overseas staying visits than the whole of Scotland and Wales put together, whilst Oxford itself sees nearly 30 times more than the Channel Islands
Most local residents still have to get up at around 4:00am to catch a 7:30am international flights from the likes of Heathrow, Luton or Birmingham airports
The rate of growth in industry, technology, research and science-based businesses in the region is amongst the highest in the whole of Europe.
In spite of Oxford's relative isolation from quick access to scheduled air services today, the local area continues to attract a very significant amount of inward investment from companies, both starting-up, looking for new headquarters or relocating.