Marshall Aviation Services, the business aviation-focused arm of the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, has announced it is widening its expertise into the FBO arena. It has secured the executive aviation handling facility (FBO) at Birmingham Airport and will formally open for business under the Marshall Aviation Services name within the next few months.
Marshall has agreed a long term lease of the award-winning FBO, built in 2011 and located to the west of the airport. The glass fronted 4,000m2 (44,000 sq.ft.) facility, includes 2,500m2 (27,000sq.ft) of hangarage space which will be available both to resident and ad-hoc visiting aircraft. Under the previous operator, the FBO was named Best Handling Agent/FBO by industry peers of the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) in 2013. The FBO is regularly used by BAE Avro RJ executive charter operator Cello Aviation and FlairJet, Marshall Aviation Services’ aircraft operations, charter and management company, will also have a presence there. The facility will continue to offer fuel services via Avfuel.
Freddie Judge returns to his previous role to run the facility day-to-day as FBO Manager whilst overseen by Cambridge-based Pauline Smith, who has served in senior FBO roles with ExecuJet and Harrods Aviation in Dubai and London Stansted, respectively. Pauline was manager of Al Bateen Executive’s DhabiJet facility before joining Marshall’s in 2012. The Marshall Aviation Services’ team intends to position the facility as a world-class FBO, offering comprehensive amenities for both flight crew and passengers, including crew rest facilities, flight planning rooms, prayer room and visitor or residential crew offices.
Birmingham Airport, the seventh biggest airport in the UK, offers some unique attributes for business aviation, including 24/7 opening hours, a long 3,052m (10,000ft) runway; 'plenty of low cost apron parking for the largest of aircraft types and excellent ground transportation links, complemented by multiple commercial flights, enabling private aircraft crews to reposition with ease.
Centred within the industrial heart of the UK and home to the motor industry’s development and manufacturing capital, Birmingham has the second largest city economy in the UK, the second most visited city in England outside of London and the region creates exports in goods worth over £20 billion. The new FBO is a mere five minutes’ drive to the UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the new £150m Resorts World Casino complex, currently under development by Genting, which includes the former LG Arena.
Entertainers and celebrities, along with business leaders will also be able to access the International Convention Centre (ICC), Symphony Hall and the National Indoor Arena (now Barclaycard Arena) within minutes from the private aviation facility. Birmingham Airport will eventually be linked with London via the new HS2 high speed rail line in just 32 minutes, but today helicopter shuttles are available to interline or reposition to London.
Marshall will work closely with Birmingham Airport in building business through the FBO, realising interlining opportunities for business jet travel, for example, among First and Business Class passengers flying into Birmingham on potential new long-haul destinations - Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Johannesburg. Business executives can make private aircraft connections for UK or near-Europe flights through the Marshall VIP facility within minutes of arrival or departure.
Marshall Aviation Services Managing Director Steve Jones commented: “This new facility is part of our strategic plan to develop a portfolio of services to private aircraft owners - from aircraft sales and management charter through to support refurbishment and upgrades. Our new Birmingham facility will offer first class handling services, accommodating aircraft up to Gulfstream 550 or Global size in the hangar. We will also be able to offer line support capabilities all Textron family (Cessna, Hawker and Beechcraft) and Bombardier Global or Challenger models in the near term, as the future market demands.”
Melanie Cameron, Birmingham Airport’s Head of Property, said, “The arrival of Marshall Aviation Services at Birmingham Airport is great news. It is a very exciting time for us, with record passenger numbers and the recent completion of a multi-million pound redevelop programme to allow for the growth of our long-haul route network so we are delighted to welcome the Marshalls team this year. The new operation will provide first class facilities for airlines and passengers, and aviation business services that are much needed in the Midlands to support the thriving local economy.”