Patriot Aerospace parent acquires Blackpool and Derry Airports

Patriot Aerospace parent acquires Blackpool and Derry Airports

7-Jul-2013 Source: Rigby Group Plc

Rigby Group Plc has announced the acquisition of RCAM (Regional and City Airport Management Limited) from Balfour Beatty Plc.

RCAM is a specialist airport management company which is focused on operating airports which accommodate up to 3 million passengers a year, cargo, freight, corporate and General Aviation. Led by John Spooner – a highly experienced airport management professional – and former Managing Director of Manchester Airport – RCAM is responsible for the overall operation of Blackpool and City of Derry Airports and has now taken over the management of Patriot Aerospace’s airport assets, which comprise Exeter and Coventry Airports and Cardiff Heliport.

[ editor note – Blackpool Airport includes a base for helicopter support of offshore operations in the Irish Sea, as well as charter, training and maitenance organisations specialising in helicopters]

The airport operations sit alongside the group’s flying activities – now trading as “British International Helicopters” (BIH) following the recent acquisition. BIH is now the largest British helicopter operating business with specialist divisions covering offshore and defence, utility, engineering, charter and flight training.

The Rigby Group is committed to developing its aviation business as demonstrated by its recent acquisitions of Exeter Airport and BIH, which are currently being fully integrated into the group. The overall strategy is to be a leading player both in the regional airport sector and helicopter operations. Today over 450 people are employed within the aviation group as a whole.

Sir Peter Rigby commented; “The Rigby Group has invested in RCAM as we believe regional airports have a significant role to play in the future of the British aerospace sector and there is definite potential for growth in terms of both freight and passenger capacity. With major hub airports currently working to near or over capacity and questions of how to meet the demand being debated as part of the Davies Commission, we see a clear opportunity for regional airports to ease the strain, partly through effective management and operation.”

John Spooner explained that “The RCAM business is based on the belief that Regional Airports are local transport facilities, operated locally for the benefit of local communities. Regional airports are vitally important to the economic development of regions, not just in the UK but also overseas. Obviously smaller airports do not have the benefits of scale enjoyed by the larger hub airports: to survive and prosper, smaller regional airports need to cooperate and collaborate and this is exactly what RCAM can do – bring regional airports together to enable them to operate safely, sensitively and increasingly efficiently.”

“The passionate belief of the Rigby Group in the importance of the regions to the national economy makes Patriot Aerospace an ideal owner of RCAM” he added.

About The Rigby Group plc
Formed in 1975, The Rigby Group is the parent company of a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses operating across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group comprises operating businesses in five key divisions – technology, aviation, property, hotels and investments. The UK’s 13th largest privately owned business, the group employs in excess of 6000 staff worldwide.

About Patriot Aerospace
Patriot Aerospace is the Aviation Division of The Rigby Group plc. Following the acquisition of British International Helicopters, Patriot Aerospace is now the largest British owned helicopter operator and the only British owned company in the offshore helicopter / EMS sector operating in the United Kingdom. The combined entity operates a helicopter fleet of 25, principally owned aircraft, and employs over 450 personnel.

About RCAM

  • A specialist airport management company focusing on airports which accommodate up to 3 million passengers a year as well as substantial cargo, freight, corporate and general aviation operations.
  • Provides a unique and comprehensive range of airport management and development services RCAM can demonstrate and provide management experience in every sphere of airport activity – from aircraft refuelling to airline handling, duty free retailing and air traffic control. RCAM offers clients a “one stop shop” in the responsible and commercial operation of Regional and City Airports. RCAM’s business modelling and planning team can demonstrate experience in identifying and delivering opportunities to drive commercial performance and improve cost efficiency.
  • Currently manages Blackpool and City of Derry, Coventry and Exeter Airports and Cardiff Heliport.
  • Is planning to increase the number of airports it operates – initially in the UK, but also in the larger territories overseas.

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