Operations at London Stansted Airport were disrupted for several hours on Tuesday after a Gulfstream G550 caused some damage to the ILS while landing. The aircraft touched down safely, and the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch is looking into the incident. Arriving flights were delayed for a few hours until fog lifted later in the morning.
Last Thursday Gama Aviation opened a new facility at Glasgow Airport in Scotland. The inauguration of the center is well timed, with two major sporting events planned to take place in Scotland next year. Both the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow from late July, and the U.S. versus Europe Ryder Cup golf match, to be held at Gleneagles (46 miles North-East of Glasgow Airport) in September, are expected to generate a lot of business aviation and VIP traffic.
UK air navigation services provider NATS has started a 14-week “consultation” process through January 21 to gather comments from airlines and other interested groups on proposed airspace changes surrounding Gatwick and London City airports. The consultation marks the first step in a wider program of proposed changes under the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy, an ATC modernization plan for the UK and Ireland.
Several airports billing themselves as “London-area” are hoping to secure more business aviation traffic to the British capital, putting them in competition with those normally associated with the segment such as Farnborough, Luton and Biggin Hill. While Oxford has carved a niche and Cambridge has upped the ante with respect to business aviation, airports such as Lydd and Southend have also entered the fray as their wider development activities have made them more appealing–and they have started to attract business aircraft.
The world’s three leading airline alliances have signaled their unwillingness to relocate from London Heathrow Airport in the event that a government-appointed commission proposes the development of a second hub airport for the UK capital.
Britain’s skies are filled not so much with aircraft noise as with the sound of grinding axes, as regional airports vie for audibility during the latest UK government reconsideration of aviation strategy. Forever perceiving themselves as poor relations to major London-area facilities, some of Britain’s local airports (especially in central and southwestern regions) have taken to denigrating competitors, all the while proclaiming their respective “connectivity” to airline networks.
Harrods Aviation (Booth No. 4263) is here at the NBAA convention promoting its helicopter transfer service from London-area airports such as Biggin Hill, Farnborough, Luton and Stansted to the London Heliport at Battersea in the west of the city. The company believes the operation, which provides easy access to London’s West End, is virtually unknown among U.S. corporate travelers. When flying into Stansted or Luton airports, visitors can take advantage of the amenities at the Harrods FBOs.
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.
UK airports group BAA has reluctantly abandoned any further legal challenges to the compulsory sale of London Stansted Airport mandated by anti-trust authorities. It is now open to offers for what is the UK’s fourth busiest airport, and low-cost carrier Ryanair has emerged as a leading figure among potential bidders. Ryanair confirmed on August 21 that it has been asked to join a consortium that would buy Stansted jointly, with its own stake not exceeding 25 percent.
A British court on July 26 upheld a 2009 regulatory ruling against the British Airport Authority (BAA), which means that the company must sell Stansted Airport (EGSS). The BAA decided to fight the forced sale in court after the 2009 decision.
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