London Manston readies for British Open traffic

 - January 31, 2008, 5:44 AM

London Manston Airport is preparing to receive a barrage of corporate aircraft, bringing players and spectators to the British Open Golf Championship, which is being held at the nearby Royal St. George’s course at Sandwich, Kent, from July 17 to 20. The airport is located just seven miles from the course, with the next nearest facilities being Lydd (38 miles) or Biggin Hill (71 miles).

Manston offers a 9,000-foot runway with a Cat I ILS. Opening hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Generally slots are not required for the privately owned airport on England’s southeast coast, but they will need to be booked in advance during the golf tournament. The airport terminal includes a VIP lounge, catering facilities and an operations area where pilots can file flight plans and check weather.

Aircraft weighing less than four metric tons (8,818 lb) will be handled by TG Aviation (telephone +44 1843 823520) and those heavier than this limit by the airport company itself (telephone +44 1843 825063). Landing fees will be charged at £10 ($15) per metric ton (2,204 lb) of aircraft weight, with handling fees varying according to aircraft type. The current price of jet-A1 at the airport is approximately $1.92 per gallon.

During the Open Golf Championship, Helicharter will be offering a shuttle service to and from the course, priced at £105.75 ($166) round trip per person (including tax). The company will have nine helicopters available.