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.
London is on high alert as Olympic airspace changes and a slot allocation extension to 40 airports (rather than the usual four) kicked in this past weekend, and visitors start to arrive ahead of the summer games opening ceremony on July 27. Slot coordinator Airport Coordination Ltd (ACL), based at London Heathrow Airport, reported that approximately 5,000 bookings have been registered for slots at the 40 airports, though it expects this number to reach 7,000 or 8,000.
De-icing fluid manufacturer Kilfrost has reported orders for its “environmentally driven” Sustain products in New Zealand, with Air New Zealand and Aviall purchasing 27 metric tons of them over the last year. “All our sustainable products offer significant environmental benefits in terms of carbon savings and low toxicity, with no compromise in terms of performance and functionality,” said CEO Gary Lydiate.
Southeast England is going to be a busy place from the middle of July to mid-August as visitors and competitors converge on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, and planning earlier than usual is going to be the key for business aviation operators hoping to get in and out of London-area airports, although they could still face delays.
London’s Stansted Airport is set to get a fourth FBO, with The Diamond Hangar scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2012 Olympic Games on July 27. The new venture is trading on the Aero Toy Store brand, and its main shareholder is Ben Shirazi, son of the U.S. aircraft sales and completions group’s founder, Morris Shirazi.
European industry experts have drawn a line in the sand well ahead of an EU proposal to lift the ban on carrying liquids aboard a commercial aircraft that is set to take effect in April 2013.
Large infrastructure investments by Oxford Airport’s private owners have paid off with the London-area airport now claiming a spot as the UK’s fifth busiest business aviation airport. As of last month, year-to-date traffic growth at Oxford was 12.2 percent, which, according to business development director James Dillon-Godfray, was markedly ahead of the flat or declining situation at other UK airports (see box).
Signature Flight Support is bringing its TailWins customer loyalty program to Europe. The program comes to this side of the Atlantic just as the FBO network is gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London by adding more capacity.
Universal Aviation has opened an FBO at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport. The 24/7 facility offers ground handling, fuel and trip-support services, as well as concierge and customs, immigration and quarantine. The Venice base augments the company’s three other Italian bases at Rome Ciampino Airport and Milan’s Malpensa and Linate airports.