Luton FBOs plan facility expansions

 - November 28, 2007, 5:46 AM

Both FBOs at London Luton Airport are making plans to expand their facilities. Business aviation traffic levels and the average size of aircraft handled are continuing to increase significantly at the gateway, which is 30 mi north of the UK capital.
Metro Business Aviation is negotiating with Luton management to build a new executive terminal and add a second hangar. The proposed development would double the 55,000-sq-ft ramp space currently available for customer aircraft.

Metro, which also has facilities at London Stansted and Heathrow Airports, recently extended the VIP lounge in its interim building and also opened a 37,000-sq-ft hangar last year. It had wanted to have the new complex open by year-end but has yet to conclude terms with the Luton Airport owner, TBI group. New flight crew amenities at Luton may include a gym, sauna and jacuzzi to match those planned at Metro’s Stansted base.

The BBA Group’s Signature Flight Support facility already has plans for a new 30,000-sq-ft hangar at Luton, as well as an extension to its terminal building. It is now contemplating an enlarged hangar development due to the sudden availability of more land immediately adjacent to the site for which it has applied.

The new development would accommodate a couple of bizliners and several other aircraft, and it would provide significant additional ramp space between the new hangar and the Signature terminal. It could also house some of Signature’s maintenance department, freeing up space in the company’s existing hangar.

Signature operations director Trevor King told AIN that he would like to be able to offer overnight hangar space to business aircraft for less than the rates that the airport currently charges for outside parking. The company hopes to have the new facilities open by next June.

Traffic handled by Signature so far this year has increased 5.6 percent over the same period last year. Fuel sales have climbed by 11 percent, confirming the presence of larger business jets. Last year, the FBO handled more than 12,500 aircraft.

Also available to the London Luton FBOs is a hangar currently used by Honeywell. The asking price for the building, which comes with adjoining ramp space, is $4 million.