Biggin Hill to have private-jet enclave

 - May 23, 2007, 9:38 AM

Almost 70 years after contributing to the aerial security net around London during the Battle of Britain, Biggin Hill Airport is again to secure the safety of aircraft. Air Partner has signed an 80-year lease with the airport for a 115,000-sq-ft site on which to develop an almost $10 million high-security private-jet enclave.

Local government authority permission has been obtained to develop the site, which will have two hangars for secure aircraft accommodation and maintenance. The first is planned for completion by September 2008 and the second in 2009, with operational profitability expected two years after completion. The company said the development will permit faster growth in Air Partner’s management and maintenance services and allow it to develop new revenue streams, about which it declines to provide details.

Claimed to be the world’s largest aircraft-charter business, Air Partner leases 26,000 sq ft at Biggin Hill, 15 miles southeast of London’s financial district, and from which it manages one of Europe’s largest fleets of Learjets (the former Gold Air operation). Biggin Hill, which describes itself as “one of London’s best-kept secrets,” claims to be London’s only non-slot regulated airport, which Air Partner said provides its customers greater operational flexibility than is available at nearby airports.