Marshall Aerospace is extending its operations footprint after taking over all air traffic control and engineering at Coventry airport.

The move to outsource full air traffic services comes as the UK regional airport puts the facility up for sale, three years after acquiring it from TUI Group and investing more than £6 million ($9 million) in infrastructure - including ground lighting, runway, taxiway and air traffic control improvements

Last year, the airport owners failed to get the green light to develop a new terminal and lost scheduled services from low-cost airlines Thomsonfly and Wizz Air as a result - triggering a switch in focus that will see the airport now developed as a UK cargo, ad hoc charter and executive jet hub.

As well as operating Cambridge airport, Marshall has also worked with many other UK airports including Blackpool, Norwich and Inverness, where it managed the installation of a Thales primary and secondary radar system.

Marshall now manages 14 diverse contracts including air traffic management at Redhill and North Denes/Great Yarmouth heliports and sees itself as well placed in terms of meeting Coventry's traffic management and engineering requirements over the next five years.

"Due to the operation synergies with Cambridge airport, we understand Coventry's requirements very well with its controlled airspace and the proximity to major international airports. It's the type of operation that we understand very well," says John Watkins, Marshall's director of airport operations and development.

"This is a substantial move forward - in terms of the complexity of the requirement, the financial gain and the number of people employed outside Cambridge, which will rise to 48 with the transfer of Coventry staff."

Source: Flight International