PremiAir is set to complete the relocation of its Hawker Beechcraft authorized service center to Oxford from Blackbushe Airport near Farnborough early this month. The business aircraft services group has leased a former CSE Aviation hangar, with Oxford Airport investing almost $2 million to overhaul and expand the facility.
Helicopter operations, which constitute some 75 percent of PremiAir’s activities, will continue to be based at Blackbushe. The move of the fixed-wing operation was necessitated by the fact that the smaller airport’s comparatively short runway and lack of ILS always constrained fixed-wing operations, said PremiAir managing director David McRobert.
He said that PremiAir’s due diligence focused on two locations, Oxford and the London-area Biggin Hill. “Oxford ticked more of the boxes,” he stated. “It’s a great central location, and the significant ongoing investment in the airport’s facilities and infrastructure played a major part in our decision to go there.”
PremiAir has ambitions of moving into the management of fixed-wing aircraft and recently established a pre-owned aircraft sales division called PremiAir Global. It already has a large rotorcraft charter and management operation, and also runs the London Heliport at Battersea on behalf of parent company the Von Essen hotel group. It expects to open a new terminal building at the heliport in April.
Oxford Airport managing director Steve Jones said that the move of PremiAir and its Hawker Beechcraft authorized service center (covering the former Beechcraft product line) would complement the factory-owned Hawker service facility for its larger business jets, which has been at Oxford for the past four years. It also means that Oxford will now cater to the entire Hawker Beechcraft stable, from the Beech Bonanza to the Hawker 4000.
The airport is also home to Hangar Eight, which is equipped to service Cessna Citations, and EBAS, which is in the process of seeking approval to work on Gulfstreams. Jones said that he wants to add Embraer maintenance capability to this support portfolio since the airport will soon be home to some of the first new Phenom 100s to enter service in Europe.