Cambridge Airport, UK, has appointed Ruth Holcroft as Commercial Manager, reporting to Airport Director Archie Garden. In what is a new role for the airport, Ruth takes on responsibility for business development as the management team works to explore and establish some key regional ‘city hop’ routes with targeted operators.
Ruth and Archie will be in Malta this week attending the European Regions Airline Association’s spring meeting (6-7 April) to highlight some of the airport’s main attractions to operators. These include minimal slot restrictions, full Category 7 fire & ATC status and 24/7 opening hours. Cambridge Airport is also one of the designated airports for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Ruth, a qualified chartered accountant who previously worked with KPMG in London, first started working for the Marshall Group of Companies in 2007. She was involved in several business development projects reporting to Marshall Group COO Robert Marshall who is now Chairman of Cambridge Airport. Part of this role was defining and shaping the airport’s four-year business plan which included the decision to develop regular shuttle services to key UK and European cities.
“The project interested me immensely so I am now very much looking forward to promoting the terrific value proposition that Cambridge Airport offers and working with forward-thinking regional carriers,” she said.
Cambridge Airport is about to commission a survey among residents and businesses in its immediate catchment area, who together take over 1.6 million flights per annum, to help determine the most desired business and leisure routes that can be developed as ‘city hop’ services. Former Newquay Airport Project Director Chris Cain from Oriens Advisors Limited is also lending support in a consultancy capacity.
Significant investment has already been made at Cambridge Airport to establish a stylish Fixed Base Operation (FBO) for its mainstay business and general aviation activity. Investment is being made in increased hangarage capacity and a new GPS approach complements its ILS system. With no more runways being built in the South East of England and the London-centric airports under constant pressure to try and accommodate new services, Cambridge Airport management believes the time is right to develop niche, commercial aviation opportunities from its strong high-tech scientific, academic and business base.
“Cambridge Airport offers a wealth of possibilities for regional airlines. “We have a good sized runway at 1965 metres enabling us to accommodate a range of aircraft, hangar facilities, good slot availability and a complementary spectrum of aviation services. Our goal is to develop regular niche European city services, alongside the development of business aviation and aviation training,” says Archie Garden.
Aviation training at Cambridge will also be increasingly important with pilot, fire and ATC tuition programmes already in place. The airport´s most recent contract was in Oman where a highly experienced two man team from Cambridge Airport has trained approximately 24 people in Oman over a four month period taking participants to Flight Information Services Officer (FISO) level.
Located in the centre of eastern England, Cambridge Airport is also creating a dedicated Olympics programme to support the overspill from the London hub airports. “We are around 65 minutes by fast road access from Canary Wharf in the City of London and there’s a fast rail link to Kings Cross, which takes just 45 minutes making us extremely well positioned for the 2012 games,” comments Garden.