If you’re planning to fly to London in a corporate jet (anything up to the size of a ACJ320 or BBJ2) you have several options when it comes to airports–Biggin Hill, Luton, even Oxford or Cambridge. However, there is little doubt that TAG Farnborough Airport is on top of the pile for shear panache. Stylish architecturally, gleaming and modern, yet it is at the same time Britain’s oldest airfield (1905), which can boast a hard-to-beat place in the history of aviation.
Trying to get business aviation to take root in China is no easy task, but many Chinese delegations have made their way in recent years to see TAG Farnborough Airport, according to CEO Brandon O’Reilly. The airport is unique in the UK in being dedicated to business aviation and focusing on quality, to the extent it sticks to one FBO, also run by TAG Aviation. It also has a distinctive, futuristic look with its wave hangars and matching, futuristic-looking control tower.
Signature Flight Support acquired the FBO assets of the Jets facility at London Biggin Hill Airport last week. Jets will continue to operate its core business of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, while Signature will own and operate the FBO assets.
Four people perished in the January 12 crash of a U.S.-registered Cessna Citation 501-SP in Germany. The jet crashed on approach to Trier-Fohren Airport after arriving from Shoreham Airport in the south of England. Weather in the area at the time of the accident was reported as one-quarter-mile visibility, with an indefinite ceiling of 100 feet in freezing fog. The aircraft struck a power pole short of the runway on approach and burst into flame. The nationalities of the victims remain unknown.
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.
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.
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