Establishing a foothold in the UK has long been a goal of Swiss-originated Jet Aviation, now with headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla. The international FBO chain recently achieved that goal, opening its newest base at suburban London Biggin Hill Airport, famous as a pivotal Spitfire action station during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Biggin Hill proponents have been trying, unsuccessfully, to permit regional airline service at the airport, but recent local rulings have gone against them, leaving corporate aviation as a mainstay.
Jet Aviation’s facility is well suited to fulfilling that mission. With 17,020 sq ft of renovated hangar space, the leasehold also includes a newly constructed terminal building with customs and immigration service, reception area and a VIP customer lounge with a view of the ramp and runways. The customer lounge includes work spaces with Internet access and telephones. For pilots, there is a separate lounge with a snooze room, showers and weather/flight-planning area. There is also a fully equipped kitchen for crew catering. Maintenance services include refurbishing capability such as paint, avionics service and installation, cabinetry and electronic systems installations. The location is an authorized service center for the Embraer Legacy and performs refurbishing work for Gulfstreams, Falcons, Hawkers and Citations.