On Saturday 27th October 2018 I stood amongst several spectators and avid aviation enthusiasts, watching a British Airways 747 arrive at Bournemouth Airport. Not for carrying fare paying passengers, but for some maintenance and repair work following a technical issue at New York’s JFK airport.
It reminded me of way back in November 2002, when I watched a chartered 747 take off from Bournemouth, flying directly to New York for a Christmas shopping trip. My dad shot the video of its departure, which has been viewed over 8 million times on YouTube.
And this got me thinking. Here in 2018, on the ground at Bournemouth Airport is the iconic Boeing 747 in full British Airways colours. It’s an aircraft in BAs fleet which is capable of carrying up to 345 people. And all of these seats were empty. By now I’d have expected to see BA and other major UK and international airlines occupying the airport’s often vacant terminal parking slots, flying daily routes to holiday and business destinations. For me these empty seats are the symbol of a missed opportunity that Bournemouth has suffered for far too long. But perhaps things are about to change.
The airport has transformed since that day in 2002, with major infrastructure and technology improvements, plus a brand new departures and arrivals terminal building. In December 2017, Bournemouth Airport was acquired by The Rigby Group, managed by their Aviation Division through Regional & City Airports. The new owners have promised a bold strategic vision for its future, and within its first year have already achieved outstanding results. For example, global aviation services company, Gama Aviation, have recently opened a new hub in a large hangar on the airfield. This along with seeing the prestige of British Airways sending one of their aircraft here for line maintenance form two of many reasons why I believe BOH may finally be on its way to a big and exciting future.
Our office is based next to the airport on the Aviation Business Park, which is fast becoming a major business hub in Bournemouth. The expansion going on around us is incredible to see, from the brand new Curtiss-Wright building nextdoor to the infrastructure and road improvements around the perimeter. Bournemouth Airport is primed for growth and opportunity, and as a business director looking to network and make connections (and as an aviation enthusiast!) I am highly optimistic about what’s coming next.
Charles Fynn - Director of Plato Video Ltd