Gloucestershire Airport

Gloucestershire Airport (IATA: GLO, ICAO: EGBJ), formerly Staverton Airport, is a small airport at Churchdown, England. It lies 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) west of Cheltenham, near the city of Gloucester and close to the M5 motorway. Its operator claims it to be Gloucestershire's largest general aviation airfield,[3][better source needed] and it is regularly used for private charter flights to destinations such as Jersey and Guernsey.

Gloucestershire Airport

Gloucester M5 Airport

Staverton Airport
Airport typePublic/Military
OwnerGloucestershire City and Cheltenham Borough Council
OperatorGloucestershire Airport Limited
ServesM5 Area, Gloucester
LocationChurchdown, Gloucestershire
Elevation AMSL101 ft / 31 m
Coordinates51°53′39″N 002°10′02″W / 51.89417°N 2.16722°W / 51.89417; -2.16722 Edit this at Wikidata
EGBJ is located in Gloucestershire
Location in Gloucestershire FBO = Weston Aviation
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 988 3,241 Asphalt
09/27 1,431 4,695 Asphalt
18/36 799 2,621 Asphalt
04G/22G 304 997 Grass
Statistics (2013)
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

The former north/south runway 18/36 was closed in August 2023 after the main runways 09/27 & 04/22 were re-surfaced. The former runway is now Taxiways D & G.

History edit

An airfield was opened in 1931, named after the local village of Down Hatherley; the change of name to Staverton followed relocation to the present site, near Staverton village. The airfield served as a training base for pilots during the Second World War and was known as RAF Staverton. It was later used by Alan Cobham as he developed in-flight refuelling. A pillbox that was part of the British anti-invasion preparations of the Second World War can still be found opposite the main airfield entrance. With its proximity to Cheltenham, it was also used extensively by the U.S. Army, particularly the Service of Supply under its commanding general, Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee, who was responsible for all supply and administrative functions of U.S. forces in Britain, beginning in May 1942.

After the war, what is now Smiths Group used the airport as a test site for various aircraft. At the same time the airport provided scheduled services to the Channel Islands, Dublin and Isle of Man. In the 1960s the Skyfame Museum, dedicated to World War II aircraft, opened.

In the 1990s, both the Police Aviation Services and Bond Air Services stationed helicopters and their headquarters at Staverton. In 1993, its name was changed to Gloucestershire Airport in an effort to "reflect its increasing prominence as the business aviation centre for the county".[4]

During the 1990s, Staverton was the home of the MidWest production facility where the company manufactured the MidWest AE series of single- and twin-rotor Wankel aero-engines for light aircraft. The twin-rotor engine was first installed into two ARV Super2 aircraft. Midwest was eventually closed down, and its assets bought by Austrian manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Industries.

Between 2013 and 2017, Citywing operated scheduled flights from the airport, describing it as "Gloucester (M5) Airport" and marketing it as an alternative to Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport and to a lesser extent Oxford Airport.[5]

Expansion edit

In 2009, the airport was granted planning permission for expansion, first proposed in 2006, which included lengthening a runway.[6][7] The plans were controversial and proved divisive amongst the local community and authorities.[8][9] In March 2015, Gloucestershire Airport announced that it will look to provide more flights, more hangars and more profits in the coming years as part of a new vision for the transport hub. The business plan will see £6 million invested in the airport between 2015 and 2025.[10]

Services and facilities edit

Runway 27 from the air in October 2012, showing the newly installed lighting
A Cessna 172 belonging to the Staverton Flying School taxiing in after landing; the control tower and part of the main apron are in the background
Gloucestershire airport in 2017, looking west: from left to right is the M5 motorway; crossing the M5 is the A40 Cheltenham to Gloucester.

Many of the flights to and from the airport are for business purposes, but there are also recreational flights and training flights.

The airport houses several flying clubs for private pilots including Bristol Aero Club,[11] Cotswold Aero Club[12] and the Staverton Flying School[13] alongside commercial pilot training from Aeros[14] and Skyborne Aviation.[15] Specialist helicopter trainers JK Helicopter Training and Heli Air also provide gift/pleasure helicopter flights.[16] People are able to undertake their pilot's licence training at the airport.

Also based at the airport is the Little Jet Company, which has a fleet of Citation Bravo and King Air 350 business jets that can be chartered around Europe.[17] The airport also has its own Fixed Base Operator in the form of Weston Aviation.

The airport is home to The Aviator restaurant and bar. There is a live video camera,[18] aimed on a bearing of 255 degrees, just south of due west.

Airlines and destinations edit

The majority of Gloucestershire Airport's movements are operated by private aircraft.

Citywing previously flew a minimum of five weekly to the Isle of Man during the winter months and up to 25 times weekly during the summer peak season. The Jersey route was flown three times per month during the peak season between July and September, but was not operated during the winter months.[19] This service ended in March 2017, after the airline was liquidated.

Traffic statistics edit

Annual passenger traffic at GLO airport. See Wikidata query.
Year Number of Passengers Aircraft Movements
1969 9,012 48,421
1970 7,563 44,831
1971 8,441 52,179
1972 8,035 55,030
1973 10,496 46,670
1974 11,479 41,942
1975 4,548 42,790
1976 7,337 39,564
1977 15,282 40,895
1978 17,774 37,929
1979 16,607 43,615
1980 9,833 45,689
1981 5,348 41,092
1982 5,029 42,639
1983 4,981 52,591
1984 3,527 46,492
1985 3,760 42,676
1986 3,285 52,044
1987 3,539 57,117
1988 3,274 69,696
1989 5,621 87,670
1990 4,794 94,813
1991 4,485 76,025
1992 9,646 66,566
1993 8,876 70,557
1994 3,427 70,485
1995 2,198 81,182
1996 1,938 76,385
1997 2,104 78,626
1998 2,246 84,636
1999 2,192 75,350
2000 2,038 82,334
2001 64 82,359
2002 195 80,168
2003 N/A 80,803
2004 N/A 90,285
2005 N/A 82,771
2006 166 83,453
2007 5,359 78,694
2008 20,156 76,755
2009 20,531 68,075
2010 16,533 67,788
2011 14,748 67,715
2012 15,292 73,762
2013 14,168 73,857
2014 15,172 73,687
2015 12,267 74,474
2016 12,365 83,329
2017 1,464 81,451
Source: CAA Official Statistics[20]

Events edit

On 14 November 2014, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and its listeners set a new world record for the longest line of cakes, to raise money for Children in Need. Volunteers around the region baked 14,392 cupcakes which were laid in a line at the airport. At about 16:45 GMT, an adjudicator from Guinness confirmed the breaking of the world record which now stands at 885.6 metres (2,906 ft) of cakes. The previous record of 606 metres (1,988 ft) was set in Colombia in 2013.[21]

References edit

  1. ^ Gloucestershire – EGBJ
  2. ^ "Data and analysis - UK Civil Aviation Authority". Archived from the original on 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ According to the sign at the entrance to the airport (see photo on official web site) it's "The Southwest's Premier General Aviation Airport"
  4. ^ History Archived 1 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Manx2 Press Release Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine referring to Gloucestershire Airport as Gloucester (M5)
  6. ^ Tewkesbury Council – Planning Applications 06/01668/FUL, 06/01669/FUL, 06/01670/FUL and 06/01671/FUL; for others, search using Gloucestershire Airport in Applicant Name
  7. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Gloucestershire Airport. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012.
  8. ^ BBC Gloucestershire Feature on Gloucestershire Airport expansion, 2008, including audio interview with airport director and local views
  9. ^ "CASE - Concerned residents Against Staverton Expansion".
  10. ^ "Gloucestershire Airport sets out new vision for more flights, more hangars and more profits". Gloucester Citizen. 17 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Bristol Aero Club". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Cotswold Aero Club". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Staverton Flying School". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Aeros Flight Training". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Skyborne Airline Academy". Skyborne Airline Academy. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  16. ^ "JK Helicopter Training Gloucestershire". Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  17. ^ "The Little Jet Company". Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Gloucestershire Airport Webcam".
  19. ^ "Manx2 Timetable". Manx2. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010.
  20. ^ "Data and analysis - UK Civil Aviation Authority".
  21. ^ "BBC Radio Gloucestershire sets longest cake line record". BBC News. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.

External links edit

  Media related to Gloucestershire Airport at Wikimedia Commons