Administration of the main French Alsace air gate - Strasbourg Airport - took a course on the development of business aviation in the airport. That become possible only after serious changes associated with the emergence of a young and modern management team.
Alsace covers an area of 8280 square kilometers (190 km in length and 50 km in width, which is 1.5% of the area of France), and this makes it the smallest administrative region in France among European possessions. Approaching Strasbourg Airport we did not immediately realize that it is an international airport due to small terminal, miniature control tower and a just dozen regular flights. It is only when you look closely at the airport plan, but rather a part of it, related to the development of the airport, you realize that Strasbourg Airport might turn into a major business aviation hub in northeast France.
But first things first. We were warmly received by Strasbourg Airport CEO Thomas Dubus. We had a chance to walk him true all the airport's infrastructure and the center of business aviation, the conversation continued over a cup of strong coffee with a beautiful view of the apron.
"Strasbourg has the status of" parliamentary capital of Europe "in 1992, because it is the place of the Council of Europe meeting in 1949 and the European Parliament since 1992. Our city - one of the key centers of the French northeast economy, where financial and banking activities are rapidly developing, as well as Innovations in medicine and engineering. At the moment we can not tell the same regarding the business jet number on the apron, we are doing our bestto change the situation. Until recently, the main traffic came from government side, parliamentary groups arriving at numerous assemblies and meetings - in fact, 21 European Institutions are loccated in Strasbourg! So large army of EU officials are comfortable at our airport and are making a part of traffic, "- says Mr. Dubus.
Indeed, until 2011 Strasbourg Airport was operated by Strasbourg's Chamber of Commerce and business aviation not only was not getting enough of attention, but in fact was irritating factor, disturbing commercial transportation on scheduled flights. But five years ago, fundamentally new management airport team was formed, and at the same time it was replaced, and the owner, or rather the state has increased its stake, giving the business plan for the development of the new top management. In this embodiment, the state owns 60% of airport's stake, 25% of the shares still for the Chamber of Commerce, and the remaining 15% went to the City Hall and the Alsace region.
The result - totally renewed strategy of the airport development, deciding to systematically develop the segment of business aviation, of course, without prejudice to regular posts. As a result, last year the business traffic Strasbourg Airport was 22,000 take-off and landing operations, and net income exceeded the mark of 3 million. Euro. This year an increase of 10% is expected.
"First years were difficult. It was necessary to overcome the bureaucracy, large number of various regulatory and legal acts that hinder our development, and be able to interpret them as necessary in the interests of the airport. But now we have a reserve of 20 hectares, which plans to significantly develop the segment of business aviation, building new hangars and increasing the number of parking spaces. Last year first modern hangar was built. By the end of this year the new hangar of 1300 square meters will be built. And will continue to systematically introduce new facilities and other infrastructure. We are ready to consider any investment projects, and most importantly, implement them, "- says Thomas Dubus.
Let's take a walk on the apron. There are 11 parking places for business jets, up to ACJ and BBJ. During peak periods (arrivals of delegations), the airport takes 10 additional parkings from regular flights. There are no slots ,the onlyinconvenience is the fact that airport is not working between 00:30 and 05:00 local time.
Further even more interesting. Strasbourg Airport is one of the few airports in Europe, which allows you to submit a plan for the fly-hour before the actual arrival. There is only one handling provider - Aviapartner, while the aircraft owner or operator might decide not to use handling services and pay just airport services and taxes. The fuel - Shell, which gives a very attractive price, especially for long-term contracts. The airport is able to receive large planes - the runway length is 2400 meters. Therefore, frequent visitors are the many airport BBJ and ACJ, as well as corporate Boeing 767 or Airbus A330. Of course there is the problem of parking in the Aeroport Strasbourg. Now hangars can simultaneously accommodate only 40 aircraft, but after two years, these figures will vary significantly. But even now, airport will always find a solution for clients. Now the main main traffic makers are parliamentarians and local big business,. There are 5 aircraft based at the airport on a permanent basis.
Strasbourg Airport has large and comfortable VIP-hall, which is primarily reserved for government delegations, it is not a particular problem for the rest of business travelers. On request the client will get the room and related services. Another two small rooms and a crew room located directly next to apron with separate entrances. There are two controlled zones at the airport, the first of which provides total control of passengers and crew members. The second is different. If you are the owner of a small plane, it is possible to conclude an agreement with the airport and get your personal key to the hangar, thereby bypassing numerous checks. Modern security system and video surveillance will deter even the thought of an offense.
As for the traffic structure, the lion's share is taken by intra-direction, followed by Africa and the Middle East. But Russian traffic - purely arbitrary. Once or twice a month businessmen arrives, on the eve of the Christmas holidays a bit better picture. Mr. Dubus hopes that these "unfortunate" numbers will soon be forgotten.
We promised Thomas Dubusto be back next year and tell in details what has been done .
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