The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) is holding seminars at two aviation events in the UK this month. The first seminar will address charter brokerage and operator issues during the Business Aircraft Europe Expo and Conference, which will be held September 11 and 12 at London Biggin Hill Airport. The second seminar will be held in conjunction with the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) on September 17 at the British and General Aviation Day at Cambridge Airport.
London Biggin Hill Airport
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.
Jets, the MRO owned by the 328 Group, promoted Edward Benyon to sales and commercial manager for its Bournemouth and new London Biggin Hill facilities. He will lead a team of four responsible for building strong relationships with customers and developing future growth strategies and sales opportunities. He will report directly to managing director Alan Barnes, who recently joined Jets from Inflite at London Stansted.
Unsurprisingly, considering the wave of further bad economic news from the sunnier parts of the Eurozone, chartered business jet departures from southern European cities dropped far more steeply over this part winter than in northern Europe. New charter data prepared by online charter portal Avinode exclusively for AIN shows departures out of southern Europe dipping below 10,000 in January 2013. This was almost 1,000 below the total for the same period last year and a big drop from the almost 20,000 departures seen in July 2012.
The 328 Group returned to the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg with a new brand identity that splits the company into its two prime areas of expertise: “328” and “Jets.”
The move reflects 328 Group’s increasing portfolio of interior manufacture and design work on aircraft ranging from small helicopters to large airplanes such as the Airbus A340 and Boeing 767, and its expansion of maintenance expertise under the “Jets” brand. The change also comes following the recent acquisition of a new maintenance facility at London Biggin Hill Airport.
328 Group acquired an FBO and business aircraft maintenance and repair station at London Biggin Hill Airport from Jet Aviation earlier this month. The facility has been renamed Jets (Biggin Hill) Ltd. The acquisition brings new aircraft maintenance capabilities to the 328 Group, including the Dassault Falcon 900, 2000 and 7X and Cessna Citation 525, 550 and 560, in addition to its existing services for the Bombardier Challenger 300, 601, 604 and 605; Learjet 45; Dornier 328; and Hawker 700, 800, 800XP, 850XP, 900XP, 950XP and 1000.
A new high-tech voice communication control system recently approved by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has been installed in the ATC center at London Biggin Hill Airport. Created by Netherlands-based Micro Electronics Products, the quarter-million-dollar system known as TCP990 includes a central electronic processor in the control tower that integrates and processes all inputs from UHF and VHF channels, personnel and emergency radio units as well as a slate of pre-selected contacts at each controller position and on the ATC assistant desk.
London’s Biggin Hill Airport (Stand 230) is an important location for business aviation operators going to and coming from the Middle East, who will be glad to know that the airfield has recently upgraded its air traffic control voice communication control system (VCCS) to enhance ATC performance and integration, especially during emergency situations.
Despite dire warnings about the consequences of restricted access to UK airspace and airports, overall business aviation’s part in London’s Olympic Games seems to have gone smoothly. In fact, those dire predictions proved overstated, and the event appears not to have resulted in as much of a boost to the industry as it might have expected.
There have been no airspace or parking problems at London Biggin Hill Airport since the Olympic Games started last week, according to airport business development manager Robert Walters. “There’s lots of space…it’s not bedlam, and slots are flexible and well managed,” he said on Friday during a press conference.