London Oxford Airport is to become Gama Aviation’s business jet MRO hub. Gama completed its reverse takeover of Oxford-based Hangar8 plc in January 2015. Hangar8 managed 50+ business jets, had operations in Africa, and also operated a heavy MRO business jet facility which it used predominantly to service its own fleet.
The Oxford facility gives Gama something that it did not previously have anywhere else in its UK network: MRO capability for large business jets, and this was one of the key elements in the takeover deal. “Large jet maintenance is something we were looking to add so we could integrate it into our wider MRO scheme,” said Duncan Daines, Gama’s chief marketing officer. “We are actively reshaping the facility and setting it out as our main MRO facility.”
Because of lease/license arrangements with Farnborough Airport owners TAG, Gama is restricted there to operating a Beech King Air Service Center and performing some light jet maintenance. It also has a base at Fairoaks Airport south of London, where it has a design office and focuses on helicopter and nose-to-tail general aviation aircraft maintenance.
At Oxford, Gama (Booth V045) intends to integrate its engineering capabilities and licenses with Hangar8’s. “So alongside Globals, Challengers, Embraers and Hawkers that we already manage out of here, there’ll be another series of types that will come on board,” said Daines. The company hints that it is going to “help the smooth running of single-engine operators when SET-IMC operations become legal in Europe later this year,” and a “significant announcement” about this will be released at EBACE.
“Oxford is also an active GA airport. We are in the GA maintenance business,” says Gama Aviation CEO Marwan Khalek, “so I think you’ll see our Oxford operation evolving as our UK main base for (business jet) heavy maintenance, and obviously out of that we will provide AOG support and so on.” This will mean considerable expansion, and Khalek says that additional hangars will eventually be required.