Under a new name, and with a newly appointed airport director at the helm, Cambridge Airport enters 2011 with an ambitious plan to create a leading aviation hub for the east of England.
Cambridge Airport open and ready for commercial business
New name, new airport director, new direction
With significant investment already made in a stylish FBO (fixed base operation), increased hangarage capacity and a new GPS approach to complement its ILS system, the airport already functions as a fully fledged commercial aviation operation. However, with the minimal slot restrictions, full Category 7 fire & ATC status and 24/7 operational capability, Cambridge Airport, formerly known as Marshall Airport Cambridge, will now focus on growing its executive aviation potential and developing other niche, commercial aviation opportunities.
The renaming of the premises to Cambridge Airport reflects the decision to separate the airport business into a distinct unit away from owner Marshall Group’s other activities. It also emphasises its proximity to the internationally renowned heart of Cambridge’s high-tech scientific, academic and business community.
Leading the development is newly appointed Airport Director, Archie Garden. Archie’s experience with leading UK-based aviation consultants Oriens Advisors, where he remains a non-executive director, and his years working within business development in the financial services industry position him well to execute the innovative strategy. Garden will join Robert Marshall, Marshall Group COO and Cambridge Airport Chairman, on the airport’s newly formed supervisory board.
“Cambridge Airport offers a wealth of possibilities that have yet to be exploited,” said Archie Garden: “We have a fabulous state-of-the-art FBO with business facilities and VIP hospitality, flexible opening hours, and can accommodate a complete range of aircraft from light jets to BBJs. We offer the full spectrum of aviation services and our vision is to develop the principal sectors of executive aviation, regular niche European city services, and aviation training,” says Garden.
The future will see the refurbishment of the existing passenger terminal, growth of regional airline routes via a City Hopper schedule, and the development of the already successful horse transportation market recognising Newmarket’s proximity and equine heritage.
Aviation training will also be key as pilot, fire and ATC tuition programmes will become available as the airport maximises its extensive experience in these areas. Expanding on the Newmarket theme, the airport aims to offer improved accessibility for the burgeoning Middle Eastern equine fraternity with the implementation of a Border Inspection Post by the end of 2011
In the centre of eastern England, Cambridge is also eyeing Olympic opportunities and is creating a dedicated Olympics programme supporting the overspill from London airports. “We are just 50 minutes by fast road access from Canary Wharf in the City of London and there’s a fast rail link to Kings Cross, which takes just 45 minutes so we are extremely well positioned for the 2012 games,” comments Garden.
General Aviation will continue to feature at the airport with Cambridge offering full support for the leisure aviator. Busses to the city centre stop opposite the GA FBO, and take only 10 minutes to get to the historic heart of Cambridge. Light aviation will continue to be welcomed at Cambridge Airport.
Robert Marshall, Marshall Group COO and Airport Chairman comments, “Cambridge Airport is potentially hugely valuable to Cambridge, its people and businesses, and to the University. Our airport has the infrastructure in place to increase our general aviation, business aviation, and equine activities and also to support city hop activities which are seeing an increasing demand. Currently some 60 people are employed exclusively to running the airport and we expect this number to grow”.
Image: Robert Marshall (left) with Archie Garden
Emerald Media appointed external PR agency
To support their plan for growth, Cambridge Airport has appointed Hampshire, UK-based specialist aviation PR agency Emerald Media to manage their external media activity. “We are committed to developing the full gamut of aviation at Cambridge, and our activity this year will focus on letting people know about what we can offer. Emerald Media is renowned for its strong network of industry contacts in business and regional airline aviation and its hands-on approach to PR. We selected them knowing they will be a valuable addition to our team,” said Archie Garden.
Alison Chambers, Principal of Emerald Media said, “These past years we have helped London Oxford Airport morph into a prominent and award-winning regional airport. We plan to build on that experience by supporting Cambridge in communicating their unique offering.”
About Cambridge Airport
Cambridge Airport is privately owned by the Marshall Group, a family-run enterprise. The Marshall Group activities include Cambridge Airport, Marshall Executive Aviation, and Marshall Aerospace, focused on engineering and technology.
Cambridge Airport primarily targets the east of England market with a strong focus on Cambridge and its business, academic and industrial communities with an estimated 700,000 people living within the direct catchment area and another 800,000 living within an hour’s drive of the airport.
The airport is ideally positioned as a viable alternative for easy access to the City of London with the drive to Canary Wharf being just 50 minutes by fast road connection, and 45 minutes from London, Kings Cross railway station.
A strong provider to the equine community Cambridge Airport is 10 miles from Newmarket and offers regular services for the transportation of horses.
Cambridge Airport is home to a variety of aviation service providers including charter operators, very light jet operator Ambeo, Lanthwaite Executive Helicopter services and several GA flight training operators. It is also home of the East Anglian Air Ambulance service operated by Sterling Helicopters. A fully authorised Cessna Service centre is located at the airport.
Founded in 1909, the Marshall Group has a turnover of £2.5bn and over 5,700 employees. Headquartered on a 900-acre site in Cambridge, Marshall has three principal arms to the business: Aerospace and Defence; Property; and Ventures.