Swift lobbying work by the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) and its members appears to have averted the threat of a new limit on the number of non-airline movements at London Stansted Airport. Following discussions with the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT), it has been confirmed that the 10,000-movement limit will apply only once a new overall threshold of 264,000 annual movements has been reached.
Transport in the United Kingdom
Farnborough Airport may be packed with an odd assortment of aircraft for this week’s show, but ordinarily it is strictly business. Under the ownership of TAG Aviation (Chalet K15-16), the former Ministry of Defence site has been transformed into one of the London area’s leading business aviation gateways.
London Heathrow Airport is becoming more accessible to business aircraft operators thanks to the downturn in airline traffic. Following the controversial abolition of opportunity slots in 1998, the UK gateway had become almost unusable for ad hoc corporate flights.
Jeffersons Private Jet Holidays launched a luxury vacation service using chartered business aircraft. The London-based company is offering short-break packages, including flights, top-class hotels and limousines, at prices starting at around $3,800 for a three-night stay in Paris. The jets chartered by Jeffersons include UK-based Citation CJ1s, IIs and Excels, as well as Learjet 45s.
The UK government has approved an increase in weekend movements at London-area Farnborough Airport. On March 13, TAG Aviation won its appeal against an earlier local government decision not to allow an increase from 2,500 to 5,000 movements on weekends and public holidays.
Next year’s 60th anniversary Farnborough Airshow should be a record-breaker, according to organizers Farnborough International (Stand W106). Sales are at the highest level ever seen at this stage in the biennial cycle, the company said, and exhibitors’ plans are correspondingly ambitious.
PremiAir has introduced “first-come, first-served” rationed slots for access to the London Heliport after increased landing fees failed to control rising demand at the movements-restricted site. The facility–formerly known as Battersea and managed by PremiAir for its parent group, von Essen Hotels–is limited to 12,000 movements per year.
Just over four years after London Stansted Airport FBO Inflite opened its new Jet Centre facility back in March 1999, the company reports growing volumes of traffic.
Paradoxically, business aviation will have both a lower and a higher profile at this year’s Farnborough Air Show, to be held July 22 to 28 in the UK. Lower, because several executive aircraft manufacturers have opted to give the event a miss this time around. Higher, because, for the first time ever, the UK airport will not be closed to corporate traffic for the duration of the show.
Travelers through both airline and general aviation terminals in the UK should expect longer delays from enhanced security screening and plan accordingly, according to a special report issued by Houston-based Air Security International (ASI) in the wake of today’s bombings in London.