One of the larger customers I work with is SaxonAir, which is based out of Norwich Airport, where I regularly conduct site visits. Established in 2007 to provide convenient and cost-effective private air travel and associated support services, the company was awarded a 10-year contract in 2010 as the preferred handling agent at Norwich Airport for all non-scheduled business, private and general aviation aircraft. It also provides dedicated ground support to the offshore oil and gas and renewables industry, handling in excess of 40,000 passengers and 700 tonnes of freight each year for flights in and out of Norwich Airport to the southern North Sea.
Air BP is the only fuel supplier at Norwich Airport, where we work with North Air who provide into plane fuelling services. It’s also one of the first locations where we unveiled our Airfield Automation technology to prevent misfuelling.
Safe, efficient fuelling plays a key role in SaxonAir’s handling of its offshore passengers and helicopter services, which comprise around 75-80% of its operations out of Norwich Airport. Fuelling the helicopters is precision business. There are multiple factors that affect how much fuel is put into the helicopter. Offshore passengers travelling to installations in UK waters have to wear ‘survival suits’ as well as a short T-shirt and a long-sleeve T-shirt. Not only are passengers weighed, so is their baggage, the location time and if there is fuelling facilities on the installations are also considered. The heavier the aircraft the higher the volume of fuel needed. Calculating exactly how much fuel is needed is essential. With SaxonAir managing around 15-20 offshore helicopter movements per day, maintaining that safe, reliable fuel supply while ensuring there is no delay in the refuelling process is absolutely key.
We are also working closely with SaxonAir in achieving their sustainability goals. Part of this process involves a mapping exercise, which we are supporting them with, to establish how they can be more efficient with their energy requirements and where necessary offset any emissions they can’t reduce. We have also been exploring the option of installing electric charge points so that customers can charge their vehicles efficiently and conveniently. And in September, one of my colleagues attended SaxonAir’s ‘Driving Business Green’ event at Norwich Airport, alongside CEO, Alex Durand. One of the aims of the event was to explore transport solutions that benefit business and the environment.
Conducting site visits, working closely alongside customers such as SaxonAir and being able to share ideas and expertise is all part of a day’s work and one of the aspects of my role that I really enjoy. And when we are working towards the common goal of a sustainable future for aviation what’s not to get excited about!
“With up to a third of the traffic at Norwich Airport being between SaxonAir and the other offshore helicopter operators, the key element of our relationship with Air BP is that we can rely on efficient, on-time and safe refuelling services. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a complaint about delays in fuelling, which is crucial to our operations. It’s all about collaboration and the partnership has evolved because of our close working relationship. As we embark on the journey towards a greener future, I’m excited about how we will continue to work together in achieving our sustainability goals at Norwich Airport.” Alex Durand, CEO, SaxonAir.
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