Cambridge Airport is slashing its landing fees for business aircraft in an effort to entice new users to the expanding site, 100km (62 miles) north of London. The move is part of a long-term strategy by the airport's owner The Marshall Group to turn the facility into a major hub for business aviation in the UK. Marshall has already committed £20 million ($32 million) for a major upgrade-and-development programme at the airport where business and commercial aviation only accounts for 3,000 annual movements.

From 21 July "a Boeing Business Jet will see an 87% reduction in landing fees, a Bombardier Global Express an 82% reduction, while the landing fee for a Dassault Falcon 900 is cut by 72%," says the airport. The new structure centres on the introduction of tiered aircraft bands. Aircraft are priced in weight-related groups for ease of interpretation by aircraft operators, charter brokers and planners, rather than each type being allocated a designated fee charge. For all business aircraft over 20t, price bands will be introduced at 10t levels - up to 70t, then over 100t at a fixed fee. For long-haul business jets Cambridge Airport is also introducing zero-rated landing fees for all aircraft purchasing 5,000 litres of fuel, it says.

"The former pricing policy did not support our long-term strategy, which is to attract a wider base of business aviation clients, continue development of a vibrant aviation hub for the east of England region and be more competitive against the London centric airports," concedes Cambridge Airport business development manager Jon Harper. "We are keen to encourage larger, wide cabin aircraft to come here and this bold new strategy will help make us more competitive with the likes of London Luton, Stansted and Gatwick," he adds.

Source: Flight International