Signature Flight Support has expanded its fast-growing European FBO network further with the acquisition of the Executive Aircraft Services (EAS) facility at London Heathrow Airport. Signature’s parent group, BBA Aviation, is set to buy the operation for $8.1 million (£4.5 million).
Signature Flight Support has bought the Harrods Aviation FBO at London Heathrow Airport. Just three months ago, Signature acquired the airport’s only other business aircraft handling operation with the purchase of Executive Aircraft Services. Signature will consolidate the two Heathrow operations in the former Harrods Aviation premises. Meanwhile, Harrods is retaining its larger operations at London’s Stansted and Luton Airports.
The British government has cleared the way for new runways to be built at London Heathrow and Stansted Airports. In a long-awaited white paper released on December 15, transport secretary Alistair Darling provisionally approved the construction of a second runway at Stansted Airport in the 2011 to 2012 time frame and the addition of a fourth Heathrow runway in the 2015 to 2020 period.
Universal Weather & Aviation said it could take until the middle of this month before it can fully repair damage to its Paris Le Bourget FBO. The facility suffered extensive fire and smoke damage during an overnight blaze on January 3. The company established a temporary operations center and made other arrangements for passengers and crew.
Charter broker Air Partner has entered the flight-planning market with the creation of a new division called Flight-Operations.com. The venture is based at Air Partner’s worldwide headquarters near London Gatwick Airport. Flight-Operations.com is led by Tim Lester, the former deputy managing director of rival flight-planning company Baseops.
FAL Aviation UK is here at EBACE to promote its recently opened executive facility at the former Lydd Airport on the southeast coast of England. Both the private airport–which has rebranded itself London Ashford Airport–and the business aircraft operation are subsidiaries of Saudi Arabian-based FAL Holdings (Riyadh). Being outside the London TMA, the airport avoids air traffic control delays at airports closer to the city.
Harrods Aviation has been honored as best handling agent in the Excellence Awards voted for by members of the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA). The UK business aviation services group has FBOs at London’s Stansted and Luton airports. BACA members also selected air taxi firm London Executive Aviation as best general aviation operator and Dubai International Airport as the best airport.
Baseops International (Booth No. 710) reports that closure of its London Gatwick office and the absorption of its functions by the Houston, Texas headquarters has had no noticeable effect on the business of the company, now 76 employees strong. The UK office was dissolved last fall, but in this day of e-connectivity, customers have not noticed any change in service, Baseops president Jerry Scott told EBACE Convention News this week.
Expansion plans for both Biggin Hill and Southend Airports promise important benefits for business aircraft operators making for the UK capital. Both airports are prefixed “London,” but unlike some others that make similar claims they are in fact physically closer than many.
Charter broker Hunt & Palmer has opened a new office in Hong Kong. According to the UK-based group’s executive aviation manager, Neil Harvey, the operation will be able to exploit high levels of growth in demand for charter flights into mainland China and the Far East region over the next five years.