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.
London Biggin Hill Airport
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.
Location, location, location is the premise on which London City Airport (LCY) has built its new Jet Centre, and it is on the same premise that it will charge business aircraft operators landing and handling fees averaging two to four times those at its nearest
Cessna 500 Citation I, Farnborough, Kent, England, March 30, 2008–The crew of the Bahamian-registered Citation I reported engine vibration soon after takeoff from Biggin Hill and called “Mayday” before being cleared to return to land. The jet hit a residence about three miles from the airport. All five people on board were killed, including the pilot, copilot and touring car driver David Leslie and team owner Richard Lloyd.
The crew of a Cessna Citation I that came down soon after takeoff from Biggin Hill Airport, southeast of London, on Sunday is understood to have reported engine vibration before the accident, which killed all five on board. A pilot flying nearby reported hearing the Citation–S/N 500-0287 and registered VP-BGE–make a “mayday” call before being cleared to return to land.
Executive charter group Air Partner has received approval to build a 175,000-sq-ft business aviation enclave at London Biggin Hill Airport. The $14 million development will house its own charter fleet and accommodate aircraft, crew and passengers of other operators. The construction work will be complete by the end of next year, but the company will start marketing the space next month.
John Batty, the newly appointed chief executive of the UK’s Business Aircraft Users Association (BAUA), has set himself a couple of important goals: a successful membership drive to boost the organization’s resources; and a closer and more effective working relationship with both the European Business Aviation Association and Britain’s General Aviation Manufacturers and Traders Association.