On Friday, Airbus’ Chief Executive, Guillaume Faury, confirmed the company’s investment in a new Airbus Helicopters headquarters. The aerospace manufacturer has chosen to put $50.5 million towards new facilities at London Oxford Airport (OXF).
The new facilities will bring together all of the company’s Oxford activities currently spread across the area into one single, modern, and more environmentally efficient building. Airbus’s new OXF project will cover a 14-acre site and will be completed in 2024 on the 50th anniversary of Airbus Helicopters operations in the UK.
Airbus Helicopters SAS is the helicopter manufacturing division of Airbus. It is the largest in the industry in terms of revenues ($6.3 billion in 2018) and turbine helicopter deliveries. In the UK, apart from its HQ in Oxford, the company has a base at Hawarden/Wales, a dedicated Oil & Gas Service Center in Aberdeen, and customer operating locations across the UK and Ireland.
More UK investments from Airbus
This is not the only way Airbus is strengthening its presence in the UK. The company has also announced that it has established the Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies in Filton, Bristol. Technology development has already begun, and it will cover everything from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing in support of Airbus’ mission to bring a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft to market by 2035.
Airbus recently delivered two ACH130s acquired by Helsinki Citycopter that will operate on sustainable aviation fuel from Neste. Photo: Airbus
London Oxford Airport
Oxford Airport is not exactly on the top of the list when one thinks of London airports. With a perfectly good reason – the airport is almost 100 km and more than an hour’s drive from the center of London and is yet to sustain any regularly scheduled passenger service.
The airport was previously known as the Kidlington Airport and was established as early as 1935. Following its role as an RAF airfield during WWII, it gained increasing significance as a general aviation facility. In the late 1960s, it was even second only to London Heathrow in terms of annual aircraft movements.
It only received its current name under new ownership in 2009, at the same time as it saw its first airline service. Air Southwest operated a weekly rotation to the Channel Island of Jersey, and it was followed by flights from Swiss regional carrier Baboo. Following several attempts by regional carriers to sustain services, the airport has settled into a role as a pilot training and general aviation facility.
A little over a month ago, London Oxford Airport also welcomed the opening of a new helicopter MRO facility from Volare Aviation and became the launch customer for the new Aviation Firefighter Program at Capita’s Moreton-in-Marsh Fire Service College.
Have you ever been to London Oxford Airport? Leave a comment below and share your story.
What’s The Latest With London Heathrow Airport’s Third Runway?