London Oxford airport has fired the starting gun in the race to get set for next year's London Olympics, when thousands of VIPs are expected to descend on the UK capital in business aircraft.

Oxford may be more than a 2h drive from the Olympic stadium, but airport bosses claim the airport is perfectly sited for events being held to the west of London, including football at Wembley and rowing at Windsor.

"We will be trying our best to capitalise on the Olympics," said business development director James Dillon-Godfray.

The airport, in Kidlington, just outside the university city, is sticking to its controversial decision two years ago to rebrand as London Oxford, despite being almost 100km (60 miles) from the centre of London. An hour's drive from London's West End, the airport is more convenient for many destinations than several of the capital's other airports and has the advantage of having a dedicated business aviation terminal, said Dillon-Godfray.

In the 12 months to April, Oxford increased its jet movements year-on-year by 31% and overall business aviation traffic by 18%. According to new managing director Chris Orphanou, the airport is handling 20 business aviation movements a day. "With 35 business aircraft regularly living at the airport, this makes us the fastest growing for business aviation in the UK," he said.

Oxford is home to a number of charter companies, including medical specialist AirMed, newly floated Hangar8 and Europe's first Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 operator FlairJet. Eurocopter's UK base is also there, and helicopter specialist PremiAir has a maintenance centre at the airport.

Source: Flight Daily News