PremiAir Aviation International, which chairman Graham Avery acquired last December, is launching The West London Heliport, located with its maintenance facility at Blackbushe Airport, and adding an FBO. “We felt a need for a second heliport serving the capital,” Avery said during a press conference at Helitech.
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.
UK helicopter charter specialist PremiAir revealed plans to brand its Blackbushe base (near TAG Farnborough Airport) as the West London Heliport, following the company’s restructuring under new ownership. More details will be revealed at the Helitech show, which will be held September 24 to 26 at the Excel center in London’s Docklands. The company also plans to acquire its own twin-engine helicopters to “build up a managed fleet of helicopters it will both maintain and offer for third-party charter.”
London Gatwick Airport has proposed construction of a second parallel runway. If construction of the new runway is given a green light, it is expected to create additional air traffic flexibility and system safety for both business and commercial aircraft operations. The Gatwick plan offers three potential runway configurations, the most flexible allowing simultaneous instrument approaches and departures on both runways. Politically, prospects for building the runway are tied up in the wider debate about possible future expansion of London Heathrow Airport.
London Executive Aviation has been one of the stalwarts of Europe’s private charter sector for almost two decades. Trading conditions have never been tougher than in the last few years, but the UK firm is surviving by sticking to its core values, as founders Patrick Margetson-Rushmore and George Galanopoulos told AIN in an interview prior to this week’s show.
Signature Flight Support (Booth 364) is again handling all helicopter traffic in and out of Gatwick Airport after the helicopter aiming point (HAP) re-opened earlier this month. The development means that business and commercial aviation operators will again be able to land at Gatwick without a formal runway landing slot (they will need only an HAP slot, so ATC has prior notification) and without having to taxi on the runway.
Signature Flight Support has resumed handling of all helicopter traffic into London Gatwick Airport, coinciding with the reopening of the helicopter aiming point (HAP) on May 3. The opening of the HAP after a 12-year hiatus allows operators once again to land helicopters at Gatwick without having to taxi on the runway. The new HAP is located at the end of Taxiway Uniform on the airport’s west side. Slots are still required for landing, and the HAP is for daylight use only when visibility is better than 1,500 meters.
The London-area Farnborough Airport has been capitalizing on the 2011 lifting of the number of movements it can receive annually. According to the dedicated business aviation gateway’s owner and operator TAG Aviation, traffic increased significantly during 2012, and not just because of the biennial Farnborough International airshow in July and last summer’s London Olympic Games.
Weston Aviation has added another location to its growing chain of UK FBOs. The latest facility at Tatenhill Airfield and St. Georges Park Executive Aviation Centre is adjacent to the new National Football Centre near Burton-on-Trent, which opened last month. Given the airfield’s location, the new FBO will provide quick and discreet access to St. Georges Park. The new location brings the company’s stable of FBOs to five, with the others located at Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, Newquay Cornwall and Robin Hood Doncaster Airports.
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.
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