Middle Eastern business aircraft operators flying to Britain can expect a special welcome at London Biggin Hill Airport (Stand No. 724). Bahrain-based executive charter operator Rizon Jet is building an executive terminal there, which is designed to meet the needs and preferences of Middle Eastern customers. The full-service FBO is due to open next August.
London Biggin Hill Airport
London Biggin Hill Airport is set to get a new FBO, with Bahrain-based executive charter operator Rizon Jet having begun construction of a facility that it hopes to open next August. According to Rizon Group CEO Will Curtis, the FBO will be tailored to the needs of Middle Eastern aircraft owners and passengers, and serve as a base for Rizon’s plans to enter the European charter market.
Cessna 550 Citation Bravo, Kent, UK, Feb. 5, 2008–No one was injured when the Citation Bravo encountered wind shear on approach to Biggin Hill Airport. Airspeed fell below 100 knots and the autopilot pitched the nose up to maintain the glideslope. The right wing dropped in a stall but the ATP-rated pilot recovered and continued the approach. The aircraft bounced on landing.
London is one of the world’s most crowded and congested cities, but business aircraft operators flying to the British capital are spoiled for choice when it comes to landing options. Representatives from several of these airports and FBOs have made the trip here to Orlando to state their case for being NBAA showgoers’ home away from home on the other side of the Atlantic.
A family of three were killed July 19 when the Hughes 500 helicopter they had chartered for a sightseeing flight over the Kentish countryside crashed shortly after takeoff from Biggin Hill Airport. It was not clear what caused the 10 a.m. crash near the village of Cudham in the Sevenoaks area.
With scheduled airline traffic, holiday charter and business flying growing at euphoric rates, airport capacity shortage lurks at many of Europe’s conurbations. This evolution makes it essential for the business aviation community to contribute to keeping smaller airports open, because they may soon be the only places where executive jets can land.
A new executive aircraft handling operation was launched last month at the London-area Royal Air Force Northolt base (EGWU). Premier Service is being offered through the new Northolt Handling joint venture between Regional Airports Ltd., which owns Biggin Hill (EGKB) and Southend (EGMC) airports, and Serco, which operates a line-maintenance facility at the airfield.
The Air Partner initiative at Biggin Hill comes as the airport reports business jet movements increased by 25 percent last year and it foresees 30-percent further growth this year. Additional infrastructure development at the southeast London site may draw on the proceeds of parent company Regional Airports’ planned disposal of its interest in Southend Airport on the north bank of the Thames river estuary east of London.
Executive charter group Air Partner has received a green light to proceed with its plans to create a purpose-built business aviation enclave at London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 1653). Valued at almost $14 million, the project includes construction of a 40,000-sq-ft hangar on a site leased from the privately run airport.
The UK’s London Executive Aviation (LEA) has placed a $12 million order for five Citation Mustang very light business jets. The company has long been a Citation operator and currently has a fleet of Citation IIs, Bravos and Excels spread among London Stansted, City and Biggin Hill Airports, as well as at Leeds-Bradford Airport in northern England.