British and French authorities were expected to issue ADs for the grounded Concorde supersonic jetliners on August 28, some 13 months after the July 25 fatal crash of one of the SSTs. Subject to final modification work being completed (see story on page 58), British Airways could resume Concorde commercial flights to New York later this month, with Air France expected to follow suit next month.
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.
London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 1333) opened its new apron last month, significantly increasing available aircraft parking space to almost 270,000 sq ft. According to Robert Walters, the privately owned airport’s business development manager, the expansion will allow aircraft to be parked more safely and also increases capacity by some 60 percent.
Business aircraft cabin specialist MacCarthy Interiors has moved its headquarters to a new and larger facility near Gatwick Airport, about 35 miles south of London. The move essentially doubles its capacity. MacCarthy earlier last year signed an agreement with Harrods Aviation that allows both companies to offer similar interior completion and refurbishment services at their respective locations at London Luton and Stansted Airports.
Signature Flight Support has bought the Harrods Aviation FBO at London Heathrow Airport. Just three months ago, Signature acquired the airport’s only other business aircraft handling operation with the purchase of Executive Aircraft Services. Signature will consolidate the two Heathrow operations in the former Harrods Aviation premises. Meanwhile, Harrods is retaining its larger operations at London’s Stansted and Luton Airports.
If Concorde were the child of quarrelsome adults, the tabloids might label this a “tug of love,” but by whatever name it goes, British Airways seems to end up cast as the villain. When BA announced it would retire the supersonic transport in October 2003, Virgin Atlantic proprietor Sir Richard Branson seized the opportunity to embarrass his archrival by offering to buy and continue operating the aircraft.
London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 4292) is making substantial investments to bolster its standing as one of the UK capital’s leading business aviation gateways. Next week the privately owned facility begins a $1 million construction project to increase its ramp space by 60 percent to provide greater room and flexibility for parking aircraft.
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