The new Marshall Business Aviation Centre at Cambridge, UK, was officially opened on December 4. The £5 million facility combines a new executive terminal with two adjoining hangars that provide more than 50,000 sq feet of space for aircraft maintenance.
The investment by privately owned Marshall Aerospace is part of a rebranding exercise through which Cambridge City Airport has been renamed Marshall Airport Cambridge. According to airport director John Watkins, this and the creation of the Marshall Business Aviation division is part of a concerted effort to demonstrate to the market that the company offers a comprehensive set of services under one roof.
In addition to the new FBO and Marshall’s maintenance repair and overhaul capability for business aircraft, the organization includes charter operator Marshall Executive Aviation and a selection of chauffeured luxury cars provided by the Marshall group’s automobile sales organization. “We hadn’t previously addressed the way business aviation has been changing and the need for a more bespoke level of service covering all aspects of handling,” said Allan McGreal, head of Marshall Business Aviation.
The Marshall Executive Aviation fleet currently consists of a Cessna Citation Bravo and a Citation XLS. By 2012, the company, which uses Marshall Aerospace test pilots to crew its aircraft, intends to add a larger jet–possibly a Gulfstream or Bombardier product–with transatlantic range and up to 16 seats to its charter portfolio. It might also try to lease a bizliner-class aircraft, such as the Boeing BBJ or Airbus ACJ.
The new Business Aviation Centre, which is equipped for customs and immigration screening, offers a three-minute transit time between car and aircraft. The two-floor building consists of a reception area, a main passenger lounge, a separate private lounge, a boardroom, an office that can be booked for use by passengers, flight-planning facilities, showers and changing rooms, a first-aid room, and three rooms for the exclusive use of crew who need to meet the rest requirements of flight time limitation rules. It is compliant with the latest European security requirements for airports receiving commercial flights.
Immediately adjoining the building are two 25,800-sq-ft hangars dedicated to business aircraft maintenance. In total, Marshall Aerospace has more than one million square feet of hangar space in Cambridge and this can be made available for parking aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747.
Marshall has been an authorized service center for Cessna’s Citation line of jets for more than 30 years. It intends to add the larger Sovereign and Citation X to its MRO portfolio this year, and will later add the new large-cabin Columbus. It has previously been a Gulfstream service center and its relationship with Cessna would not preclude it from operating a factory-authorized facility for another airframer.
According to McGreal, in a bid to make Marshall’s service standards more consistent, he has focused on meeting the needs of large fleet operators such as fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe. He believes that that focus has made the FBO better equipped to serve individual aircraft operators too. NetJets, which has most of its Citation fleet maintained at Marshall, has an office in the new Business Aviation Centre, as do several other based operators.
The new FBO has about half a million square feet of ramp space at its disposal. Marshall, which has no intention of allowing scheduled airline services to start at Cambridge, operates its own fuel farm and trucks. The airport’s main runway is 6,500 feet long.
Last year Marshall received more than 5,000 movements at Cambridge, and ad hoc business aviation traffic accounted for around 3,200 of these. The remaining movements were associated with MRO work.
The standard opening hours for Marshall Airport Cambridge are 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
Marshall is positioning itself to receive traffic drawn by the London Olympic Games in 2012 and has a verbal agreement with an undisclosed Olympic team to use the airport as its transportation base for the event.
McGreal said that Marshall Airport Cambridge is aiming to deliver higher levels of service and flexibility than is now available to the business aviation community at the busier London-area airports. It is also well placed to serve as the main business aviation gateway to much of eastern England.
Honda Aircraft Chooses Marshall for Nacelles
Marshall Aerospace is designing and building nacelles for the new HondaJet under a contract signed in August 2008 and announced late last year. The Cambridge, UK-based company is due to deliver the first five sets of nacelles to HondaJet’s headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., by June. It then hopes to be awarded a production contract for the nacelles, which will house the GE-Honda HF118 engines that will power the aircraft from their distinctive position above the wing.
By early last month, Marshall had completed the preliminary design review for the part-composite nacelles and was at the critical design review stage of
the project. The company has extensive experience in designing lightweight aerostructures, such as fuel tanks for Boeing airliners, and performing major modifications to aircraft such as the C-130 military transport.