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Gloucestershire Business News

REVEALED: Agent appointed to sell Gloucestershire Airport

Jason Ivey, the boss of Gloucestershire Airport, has shared an update with Punchline-Gloucester.com on plans to sell the county's crucial transport hub.

As the man parachuted in to take charge of the UK's 13th busiest landing strip, which saw 68,000 flights last year, Mr Ivey spoke to Punchline-Gloucester.com Editor Mark Owen during our Punchline Talks! The Business Breakfast Briefers show  – where he broke the news that Savills has been appointed to oversee both the sale of the facility and act as corporate financial advisors.

Joint owners Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucester City Council signalled their intention to sell the site in November last year and in January, Mr Ivey, who had been brought in as Airport Director back in July, moved to quash speculation that the hub could be stripped of its parts in a sell-off. At a photocall with new members of the management team, Mr Ivey reiterated plans to safeguard the facility  "to maximise the potential of the airport".

Speaking to Mark Owen on the weekly Punchline YouTube show, Mr Ivey said: "It's been a difficult challenge looking at business development, regularoty compliance, regulatory issues and building back relationships with staff. Our relationship with tenants was also not exactly tickety-boo."

But he added that the sale was now under way: "We are working closely with them on going to market and are anticipating the end of June when the glossy brochure effectively gets produced."

In accordance with due dilligence, he added that the target date for any sale agreement would be the end of March 2025.

"We have had quite a bit of interest already; we have a few NDAs [non-disclosure agreements] signed, he added, including "some airport operators, some airline-related people and property developers.

"It's early days and all of those will go through a first-level sift before we progress."

Directly and indirectly, the airport employs between 2,500 to 3,000 people, Mr Ivey added.

"It's a diverse centre... and from an air traffic controller's point of view it probably is the busiest airport in the UK, because we have two runways operating mixed mode with business jets, flight training and maintenance repair and overhaul. It's incredibly busy and unlike Heathrow and Gatwick is is all done in unrestricted airspace. It's very intense, but I have a great team on board there to keep us safe and sound."

Private pilot training is also run from the hub, offering aspiring pilots the chance to acquire a Private Pilot's Licence for around £10,000. From that, a commercial pilot's licence can then be obtained through study and practice at the airport; within 15 months, Mr Ivey added, and "about £120,000 lighter you can walk away with a commercial licence".

Reflecting on his permanent appointment to lead the airport on April 6, Mr Ivey added: "It's all about the people, we are nothing without them. Getting the right people in the roles and looking after them and the tenants, that's the key to the airport's future."

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