Traffic is growing at the UK’s Cambridge Airport following a rebranding and change of management at the start of 2011. The privately owned facility has come to the NBAA show (Booth No. N1622) to encourage more North American operators to try out the convenient access it gives to large parts of southern and eastern England.
According to new airport director Archie Garden, the number of business aircraft movements is up by 15 percent compared with the same period in 2010. Fuel sales have increased by 37 percent and revenues from aircraft parking fees climbed by 90 percent.
The upsurge in corporate, private and charter flights has been supplemented by growing volumes of air ambulance services, taking passengers to leading hospitals nearby. Also increasing has been flight-training activity. The airport is investing in a GPS system that will allow its precision approach path indicators to be adjusted to allow training for steep approach landings (such as those required for the 5.5-deg approach at London City Airport). ILS, NDB and DME procedures are also available.
Cambridge’s 6,447-foot runway is capable of receiving intercontinental business jet arrivals, including aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 757. It has Category 7 fire and air traffic control status (under UK Civil Aviation Authority codes) and approach radar coverage up to 13 nm.
The airport is situated about 60 miles north of London, and is close to the many high-tech businesses that have sprung up around one of the world’s top universities in Cambridge. The airport can be open around the clock and has been approved to exercise this option during the 2012 London Olympic games, for which it is well placed just to the north of the prohibited airspace area that will be in place for this event. Operators arriving from the north will be able to completely avoid the inconvenience of the prohibited area.
Two years ago, Cambridge Airport’s private owners, the Marshall Group, invested just over $7 million in the development of a new business aviation terminal, including meeting rooms, passenger and crew rooms, as well as bedrooms and showers. Adjoining this is a new 21,500-sq-ft hangar that now houses the factory-authorized Cessna Citation service center that Marshall has operated at Cambridge since 1974. The facility is used as a maintenance hub for fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe. The airport’s sister company, Marshall Executive Aviation, bases its charter fleet in Cambridge. It operates a Citation Bravo and an XLS, as well as a Bombardier Challenger 300.