Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) has signed an option agreement to secure a relocation option from its Cambridge Airport base to Cranfield University’s proposed airpark development, a move which could bring 1,000 highly skilled jobs

Four weasels in one short paragraph. Read into that what you like.

Rob P
flybymike, rdfb, 2Donkeys and 1 others liked this
NDB_hold wrote:A better deal on what? They own Cambridge!

I think the "deal" is to help Marshall's argument with the Council who have had their sights on the airport for a long while for, inter alia, building lots of houses.
I do not have any problems with an FBO moving to anywhere, but I do have a problem if they have to close Cambridge Airport forever whilst doing so.

Once again, local and regional transport strategy from the DfT along with the local council(s) need to agree a suitable outcome, such as considering keeping an airport with say half the runway length.

The all-or-nothing approach is becoming a recurring theme.
AshleyFlynn23 liked this
I want to turn my own home and surrounding gardens into a B&B, a set of office buildings, and some retail space. It'll make me far more money than what I collect from my lodger or from the bloke who pays for his car to sit on my drive.

Similarly with my related commercial ventures, I want to build over my 150-space car park and develop a couple of high rise residential towers instead. These regulars can go and find another car park in the city instead.

Would the council simply allow either of the above? I'm sure it's not as straightforward.

Similar planning safeguards and checks should apply to whoever wants to turn their airport into something else that's not an airport, or make sufficient changes that would impact the reasonable flow of air traffic (of any size).
Marshall have their own property development arm and they have the moral support from the council to close the airport and develop the land. With the land value alone and the profits from building the houses and other commercial properties themselves, in-house so to speak, it's worth well over a billion to them to pursue, plenty to spend on any relocation costs to another pre-existing airport run by someone else (if Cranfield) and so none of the aggro of running ATC, dealing with compliance etc. When relocating, they won't need the same volume of buildings they have today, they can downsize massively. It's a complete no-brainer to the family now. With a reduced turnover of a billion this year, (was a third more than this in 2019) and losses of £19m (vs, £16m profit last year), they're moving on, the current aerospace business model doesn't work (and the car sales side is currently trashed too).
The 'Aerospace' bit of the Marshall group peaked in 2016 with about £330m of revenue but still made a £27m loss that year and now in 2020, that division is a mere £133m turnover part of their empire, still making a quarter of a million loss. The nationwide motor retail side by comparison is almost a £900m revenue business but made an £8m loss. I'd certainly see the logic in bailing out of Cambridge airport and making a billion from property development, wouldn't you? The question remains whether it will be Wyton or Cranfield, but can't see them wanting the hassle of having to run Wyton themselves, much easier to be a tenant somewhere else.
WingsOff wrote: ..., much easier to be a tenant somewhere else.

Yes, even if the landlords have proved themselves stunningly inept at airfield management. :D

Rob P
James Chan wrote:Once again, local and regional transport strategy from the DfT along with the local council(s) need to agree a suitable outcome, such as considering keeping an airport with say half the runway length.

The problem is that private light (owner-flown) GA is not part, nor is ever likely to be part, of transport strategy in the UK. At least as far as mainstream politicians are concerned.

Thus half the runway length eliminates it from any transport strategy that may exist, as it's no longer a potential CAT facility.
Better for GA to get involved in real* lobbying with local MPs and Grant Shapps at the DfT then - or there will be more GA businesses and organisations that will be falling apart, and pilots giving up going destinations (or even flying) from the continued reduction in (access to) infrastructure.

* real lobbying: not the silly stuff found in here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=106442&hilit=Lobbying