Biggin Hill Airport Clears Olympics Hurdles
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.
He added that the airport’s own FBO, Biggin Hill Executive Handling, has received some cancellations prompted by decisions based on “preconceptions,” including some large U.S. corporations that had scrubbed their Olympic plans. Walters also said there have been “many changes and cancellations from the Russian market,” while flights from the Middle East have been dampened by the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which started on July 20.
During the opening ceremonies on Friday, the airport had some 60 business jets parked on Runway 11-29, which is closed for the Olympic period. Many more flights have been “drop and go,” including some heads of state. “We’re half full now,” said Walters, “but we didn’t know what to expect–slots are heading upwards of 900 for the [Olympic Games] period.” This is a good share of the 6,834 Olympic-period slots booked for the 40 coordinated airports around London, according to slot-coordinating company ACL.