The UK’s Blackpool Airport is facing permanent closure on October 16, as “the airport operations have been making a loss for a number of years” and no buyer for the field could be found, according to airport operator MAR Properties. Bond Helicopters, which has used Blackpool as a base for offshore oil-and-gas flights, said it is “currently in discussions with a number of alternative airfields.” Opened as Squires Gate Airport in 1909, Blackpool Airport has the distinction of being one of the first aviation sites in the UK.
Counties of England
London Heathrow Airport is the site of Gulfstream Aerospace’s new European parts distribution center. The center houses commonly required high-usage items and provides rapid-response support to Gulfstream’s service center at London Luton Airport.
Gatwick Airport, the second largest airport in the UK, plans to award German state-owned air navigation service provider DFS a 10-year contract to provide air traffic and approach services around the airport, located 28 miles south of London. The new airport tower services contract begins in October 2015
You may not think art and aviation mix–but think again! Artist Tatiana Ojjeh has, with the support of various sponsors including Farnborough Airport owner TAG Aviation, brought a creative experience to the show in one of the old, vast wind tunnels–situated in the old Royal Aircraft Establishment buildings on the opposite side of the airfield from the Farnborough Airshow site.
Farnborough airshow attendees who want to indulge in the creative experience of light and sound that is the Wind Tunnel Project (www.thewindtunnelproject.com), can visit the old tunnel sites during the airshow.
TAG Aviation is providing shuttle buses to the site for visitors this week. There is parking near the wind tunnels for those who want to make their way there independently. The address is: Buildings Q121 and R52, Hall Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7JP.
In a recent re-branding, London Biggin Hill Airport hopes “business,” “travel” and “community” will become perceived values of its operations, according to business-development director Robert Walters. A new logo, adorning EBACE Booth 5146, depicts an executive jet silhouette against the background of a Royal Air Force roundel “as a nod” to the airfield’s fame as a Battle of Britain aerodrome in 1940.
Exeter, UK-based Flybe plans to slash another 500 jobs as part of a continuing cost-cutting exercise centered on removing excess capacity and improving worker productivity. The announcement follows an earlier round of cuts that saw Flybe shed 590 jobs this year. The company employed some 2,700 people at the end of September.
Several airports billing themselves as “London-area” are hoping to secure more business aviation traffic to the British capital, putting them in competition with those normally associated with the segment such as Farnborough, Luton and Biggin Hill. While Oxford has carved a niche and Cambridge has upped the ante with respect to business aviation, airports such as Lydd and Southend have also entered the fray as their wider development activities have made them more appealing–and they have started to attract business aircraft.
The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) is holding seminars at two aviation events in the UK this month. The first seminar will address charter brokerage and operator issues during the Business Aircraft Europe Expo and Conference, which will be held September 11 and 12 at London Biggin Hill Airport. The second seminar will be held in conjunction with the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) on September 17 at the British and General Aviation Day at Cambridge Airport.
Six months after promising a thorough overhaul of its business and having suffered the “most challenging” period in the 10 years since its re-branding from the former British European Airlines, UK regional Flybe reports a “re-energized commercial performance.” In the 12 months leading to March 31, the airline saw losses grow more than five-fold, to £40.7 million ($62 million), driven by increased fuel charges, passenger taxes–which accounted for around 18 percent of its UK-generated ticket revenue–and the costs of restructuring, including the elimination of 490 jobs.
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