FBO

Gloucestershire Airport is “Cargo Ready” and Welcomes First Cargo Operator.

The Weston Aviation team launching the new cargo handling service.

In response for an alternative airport for urgent automotive and “just in time” logistics, Gloucestershire Airport has welcomed its first cargo operator. Global Airlift Solutions operated their PC12NG Cargo aircraft into the airport at the launch of the new service. Visiting cargo aircraft will be handled by Weston Aviation at their FBO facility and private ramp area, offering fast and professional handling enabling the cargo to be on the road within minutes of arrival.

Nick Weston, CEO of Weston Aviation commented, “I have been involved in urgent automotive logistics and handling for 30 years and understand the fine balance between the on-time delivery of cargo and where possible cost savings. As soon as we opened our new FBO facility at Gloucestershire Airport in 2019, we saw the enormous potential for developing cargo handling for JIT operations. Being slightly more southerly than traditional automotive hubs such as Birmingham, with less flying and lower cost and just 50 minutes drive away, we would be offloaded and on the road before an aircraft arrives at Birmingham.”

The Weston Aviation FBO and ramp is located immediately adjacent to the airport entrance gate and the main North to South West M5 motorway can be accessed within 5 minutes of departing the airport. As a pure business airport, Gloucestershire Airport has no scheduled commercial traffic to cause any delays and fuel is delivered immediately on request. From the airport, you can also be in Bristol in 40 minutes, Cardiff and Oxford in an hour and Derby in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Sven Sroka, VP Sales for Global Airlift Solutions equally sees the airport as a great opportunity and new operating base. “We are delighted to be the first cargo aircraft into Gloucestershire Airport which is a perfect partner for the capability and uniqueness of the PC12 Cargo aircraft. We look forward to working closely with both Weston Aviation and our cargo brokers and clients through the airport”. Karen Taylor, the airport’s Commercial Finance Director was equally enthusiastic. “This is a great new opportunity for us and demonstrates perfectly the great future and potential of Gloucestershire Airport as well as working with Weston Aviation”.

Established in 1995, Weston Aviation is one of the UK’s leading business aviation support companies in the UK and Ireland with FBO facilities at Manchester, Humberside, Cornwall Newquay, Gloucestershire and Cork Airports. The company offers owner operated FBO facilities and services, Hangarage, worldwide fuel sales, aircraft charter and general business aviation and FBO development consultancy. Nick Weston is the CEO and founder of Weston Aviation and has over 34 years’ aviation experience and is also the former Chairman of The Air Charter Association and continues to sit on the associations board.

For more information call 01452 203183 or email gloucestershire@westonaviation.com

Coronavirus: Regional business aviation is key to bounce back in UK

Nick Weston is CEO of Weston Aviation

Over the last 3 months Weston Aviation has provided specialist services to help worldwide essential air travel but as the business aviation landscape is changing dramatically, clients are now choosing regional departures to accommodate their business needs all year round, which they may have not considered before.

Business aviation will show its full and real potential as a cost-effective business tool that helps to drive commerce and not just a preserve of the rich and famous, as our CEO Nick Weston – FRAeS explains

“The lockdown experience has of course shown many that home and virtual working is viable and a good workable alternative to the traditional office and commuting practice. There is  no doubt that the environmental and infrastructure benefits of this should be encouraged.

However, business travel must and will continue and everyday, restrictions on travel are easing. The demand for both business and leisure travel will be running ahead of the commercial airlines ability to restart routes and get back to full service.

This is where business aviation will show its full and real potential as a cost-effective business tool that helps to drive commerce and not just a preserve of the rich and famous.

Regional airports will also play a significant role in the rebuilding of business aviation and the economy. For many years, Weston Aviation has invested in FBO services and facilities at smaller regional airports in the UK where previously none existed.

At all of the Weston Aviation owned and operated FBO locations, year on year growth has seen an increase in airport movements and revenues.

The simple reason for our success is that we don’t see ourselves as an FBO, a charter brokerage, a fuel company or an airport tenant, we are a multi-resource company that works closely in partnership with our airport owners and management teams with one objective in mind, mutual growth.

Traditionally, regional airport FBO’s and airports themselves have failed to capture growth with a reactive approach accommodating aircraft movements day to day rather than a pro-active approach planned carefully around the  potential of an airport and its capability to grow. The message of how viable, efficient and cost-effective business aviation is rarely leaves the airport perimeter fence to be spread to the local business community that could and would use it.

Regional connectivity will be the key to bouncing back post-Covid 19. As airlines may take up to two years to once again operate to their previous 2019 schedules, business aviation will not only facilitate flights  for passengers as and when they need, from their local smaller airfield instead of the main well known business jet hubs, they will also get closer to the final destination saving an incredible amount of time.

Charter brokers need to consider smaller regional airports more too. I have previously tested this by giving a post code in the middle of the Cotswolds in the UK and been offered flights to Bristol or Birmingham, when Gloucestershire, Cotswold and Oxford Airports are much closer and convenient.

The smaller regional airports also need to play their part and promote the benefits of business aviation locally. Earlier this year I attended a business dinner in Cheltenham sitting with many high net wort individuals and local business leaders.

Only one person had chartered an aircraft once before and despite Gloucestershire Airport being only four miles from where we were in Cheltenham, no one else in the room realised that business aviation existed.

We are all anticipating business aviation seeing a surge in demand not only for connectivity reasons, reassurance of travelling with known colleagues and family but also due to the  lack of airline routes, capacity and reliability issues. The airport terminal experience is not going to be a pleasant one for quite some time with increased check-in time, longer queues, shortage of facilities and of course the increased risk of infection.

As we begin the bounce back, let us all fully consider the full range of regional airports that are available to business and private aircraft. If you are a broker, just look little closer to see if there is a smaller and closer regional airport that you can use as there are many. If you are a regional airport owner, open the gate, step outside and tell your local community of your incredible facility with flexible flying right from their doorstep. One new customer is an additional movement, airport fee and fuel sale.

Let’s break the mould, shake off the reactive past and be ready to rebuild.”

Nick Weston is CEO of Weston Aviation, a FBO and cargo handling network that operates at five locations in the UK and Ireland in addition to offering fuel services at various locations around those countries.

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