Gloucestershire Airport confirms reduced summer hours

Gloucestershire Airport, also known as Staverton. North-south runway is no longer operational after an 'upgrade'
Gloucestershire Airport, also known as Staverton. North-south runway is no longer operational after an 'upgrade'

Gloucestershire Airport has confirmed it is reducing its operating hours this summer because of a shortage of Air Traffic Controllers.

A statement from the airport said it will not provide an Air Traffic Control Service (ATC) for 10 days across a 10-week period. On days when ATC is provided the service will begin 30 minutes later than published and end 30 minutes earlier.

The airport said this is due to a number of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) leaving. The Airport has recruited or promoted five new ATCOs but they will not be fully trained in time.

Airport Managing Director, Jason Ivey, said, “This does not mean the airport is totally shut as operators based here will still be able to take off and land using our indemnity scheme. Additional support on these days is also being investigated.

“We’ve spent considerable time consulting those that operate from Gloucestershire Airport and have implemented as many of their suggestions as possible, within the bounds of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations and individual contracts.

“The revised opening times in place for July, August and part of September have meant many of our ATC team have had to cancel leave and change their own family arrangements, for which we are extremely grateful.”

The airport’s statement goes on to say a new Senior Leadership Team put in place a full manpower plan for Air Traffic Control several months ago, covering recruitment, training and succession planning to ensure this situation will not happen in future.

The plan includes new ATCO pay scales to help with recruitment and retention. The airport has also initiated a £500,000 investment in Air Traffic Control Tower equipment to improve the working environment and service.

Chris Brian, Manager of Air Traffic Services added, “There is a shortage of Air Traffic Controllers throughout the UK at the moment. This has led to unprecedented demand from larger airfields for more ATCOs and has made it increasingly difficult for airports like ours to recruit new and retain existing staff.”

Gloucestershire Airport is the UK’s busiest general aviation airport, ranking top in the CAA annual report of aircraft movements. It has its own fire station and two business parks with many aviation businesses on site including Castle Air, RGV, Skyborne, Weston Aviation… and Global ATS, a specialist training company for Air Traffic Controllers.

The new hours come into force on 8 July.

Gloucestershire Airport for sale

In December 2023, Cheltenham Borough and Gloucester City Councils announced they were seeking new investors for the airport, ie a buyer.

The two Councils recently confirmed the airport is being sold as a going concern and said, “We understand the importance of the airport to the regional economy, and it will be sold as an operational airport, with measures in place to try and secure its future as a viable business for the area.”

Gloucestershire Airport


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