ExecuJet Aviation has started to move its entire UK operation at London City Airport to Cambridge Airport, where it has taken over the former Marshall Business Aviation FBO facility. Cambridge Airport CEO Archie Garden confirmed to AIN during the official launch of ExecuJet Cambridge on February 6 that the agreement is a five-year exclusive arrangement for ExecuJet, which is also tied in to making Cambridge its sole London-area FBO for that period.
“We needed a partner that would share the risk,” said Garden. “At the end of five years I think we’ll be busy enough to have another handling agent,” he said, adding that movements could double to 6,000 a year. This is if ExecuJet doesn’t choose to grow even bigger at the airport and remain the exclusive FBO, he added.
ExecuJet UK general manager John Brutnell said that the move to Cambridge provides the company “much more opportunity to grow,” given strong demand for aircraft management and other services. It has a new FBO manager, Karen Hein-Jones, who will report to the Zurich-based company’s director of European FBOs, Nicole Gut. Brutnell said that the plan is to increase the number of employees from 15 to 50 by the end of this year.
Garden told AIN that he is mulling construction of another hangar, similar to the one ExecuJet has now, which would cost approximately $9 million. The airport recently received permission to offer hangar plots on the other side of the airfield, on 25-year leases, and Garden will be looking to promote these opportunities to helicopter maintenance organizations, avionics companies and AOC holders. Cambridge Airport has no restriction on the number of annual movements, and it also has the advantage of allowing operators from the U.S. to avoid the busy London TMA airspace. This, Garden believes, will be a major advantage during the upcoming London Olympics starting in mid-July when up to 90 aircraft are expected to park at the airport.