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Gloucestershire Airport ATC overhaul and sale update

Gloucestershire Airport is planning a £500,000 refurbishment of its ATC facilities over the coming months to help it keep its number one slot as the UK’s busiest general aviation airport.

The current ATC tower facilities are apparently in need of some refurbishment, including a general rewire, upgraded comms system and new desk suite.

As Gloucester is also a MET reporting station, the airport management are also upgrading its visiometer, anemometer and installing a new cloud base recorder, with work due to be complete by this summer, with the bulk taking place at night to limit operational disruption.

Speaking to local reporters, airport director Jason Ivey said: “We did 68,000 movements last year. At one point we were the fourth busiest airport in the UK. A lot of those were training flights but it’s very complex for the air traffic controllers here. It’s safety critical equipment that needs replacing.”

Manager of air traffic services Chris Brian, who has recently joined the team at the airport, added: “I’m a newbie but it’s very exciting and very challenging times ahead with lots of projects on the go which is really interesting.

“We’re not a 24-hour operation – we operate from 8.30am till 7.30pm. We accommodate light aircraft, medium size business jets, and have lots of helicopter flights and helicopter training.”

Announced last November, Gloucestershire Airport is potentially up for sale after the two councils that own it confirmed an intention to sell in the near future.

A statement issued by the two councils, Cheltenham Borough and Gloucester City, at the end of November 2023, said that they were “seeking new investment for the airport and are expected to instruct advisors to bring it to market in the near future”.

Since then, councillors have advised that a final decision will not be made until after the 02 May local elections but that they have already received expression of interest from eight parties, which they expect to whittle down to two or three as the sale progresses.

Meanwhile, Conservative leader Richard Cook confirmed recently that the authorities want to sell it as a going concern and “not for someone to asset strip it and build a load of houses on the runway. We want the site to continue as an airport and for the business park to continue to provide work for people who live in Gloucestershire.”

Image accredited to Google Earth 

Author: FTN Editor

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