The operator of the Battersea Heliport in London warned authorities of the danger of flying helicopters near a Thames River construction site four years before an AgustaWestland AW109 collided with a building crane in the St. George Wharf development on Jan. 16, 2013, according to the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch. Cloud ceilings were low and visibility poor on the morning of the accident.
Jets marks its 10th anniversary with continued growth, particularly at London Biggin Hill Airport, where it acquired a facility in late 2012. The move saw the company expand into Dassault Falcon 2000 and 900 maintenance with its designation as an authorized service center. “In the next 12 months we hope to expand our relationship with Dassault. We also intend to bolster our work on the Challenger 300 at Biggin Hill, and have recently appointed more engineers dedicated to the type,” said Jets managing director Alan Barnes.
Signature Flight Support acquired the FBO assets of the Jets facility at London Biggin Hill Airport last week. Jets will continue to operate its core business of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, while Signature will own and operate the FBO assets.
328 Group’s Jets has been named a Dassault Aviation authorized service center. The company can perform line maintenance on the Falcon 900 and 2000 at its London Biggin Hill MRO facility. Jets acquired the MRO business from Jet Aviation late last year. The company employs approximately 30 licensed B1 and B2 engineers at Biggin Hill and is recruiting more.
To support and develop business aviation traffic between New York and London, Teterboro Airport and London Biggin Hill Airport have signed a memorandum to become “sister airports.” According to the agreement, they will participate in mutual assistance and cooperation in areas such as customer service, communication, safety and security. Both airports are international general aviation gateways near large metropolitan cities with multiple FBOs and MROs.
UK-based business aviation caterer Bon Soirée saw the busiest weekend in its 16-year history during the last weekend in May, taking in 350-percent more orders than on an average weekend. London-area airports were busy because of the Champions League final at Wembley, the Monaco Grand Prix, the start of the spring half term and the bank holiday weekend. This resulted in a “massive uplift in orders” for catering, even outperforming the rise in demand from the opening ceremony of the London Olympics last year, Bon Soirée said.
World Fuel Services announced today at EBACE that Harrods Aviation, located at Stansted and Luton airports, is joining its Air Elite FBO network, becoming the first facility in the UK to do so. The deal brings the total number of FBOs in the network, established by World Fuel in late 2011, to 29 worldwide. Both of Harrods’ FBOs provide convenient access to London.
Britain’s skies are filled not so much with aircraft noise as with the sound of grinding axes, as regional airports vie for audibility during the latest UK government reconsideration of aviation strategy. Forever perceiving themselves as poor relations to major London-area facilities, some of Britain’s local airports (especially in central and southwestern regions) have taken to denigrating competitors, all the while proclaiming their respective “connectivity” to airline networks.
A UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s special bulletin [preliminary report] on the January 16 helicopter crash in central London appears to blame the pilot and sole occupant of the Agusta A109E for failure to maintain sufficient forward visibility while flying in congested airspace over the River Thames. The helicopter struck a building crane on the south side of the river killing the pilot and a pedestrian on the ground after the aircraft fell to the street.
London Stansted Airport now has a fifth FBO with the opening this month of the new Fayair operation. The 35,747-sq-ft facility is the result of a $19.2 million investment by Mohamed Al Fayed, former owner of the Harrods Aviation FBO immediately opposite the new Fayair building.
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