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.
London Southend Airport
Two years after entering bankruptcy protection, restructured Irish regional operator Aer Arann has embarked on a fleet-replacement program. Last month it neared a resolution to negotiations to acquire eight ATR 72-600s, reflecting expectations for rejuvenation of a business that has fought valiantly to escape the ravages of the Irish economic collapse.
Landmark Aviation has established a temporary FBO at the London-area Southend Airport. In a partnership with the privately owned airport, the U.S. handling group is supporting business aircraft operations during the London Olympic Games and beyond. The deal runs through October 1 and both parties hope that it could lead to a more permanent presence for Landmark at the airport, which is almost 40 miles from the center of the UK capital. Southend Airport has its own rail station with eight direct services each hour to Stratford, close to the main Olympic Stadium.
Landmark Aviation has established a temporary FBO at the London-area Southend Airport. In a partnership with the privately owned airport, the U.S. handling group will support business aircraft operations through the period of the London Olympic Games. The deal runs through October 1 and both parties hope that it could lead to a more permanent presence for Landmark at the airport, which is almost 40 miles from the center of the UK capital. Southend Airport has its own rail station with eight direct services each hour to Stratford, close to the main Olympic Stadium.
Welcome to the much improved London Southend Airport, where upgrades over just the past year have launched the quiet airfield squarely into the competitive ranks of airports serving the greater London area.
A new executive aircraft handling operation was launched last month at the London-area Royal Air Force Northolt base (EGWU). Premier Service is being offered through the new Northolt Handling joint venture between Regional Airports Ltd., which owns Biggin Hill (EGKB) and Southend (EGMC) airports, and Serco, which operates a line-maintenance facility at the airfield.
The Air Partner initiative at Biggin Hill comes as the airport reports business jet movements increased by 25 percent last year and it foresees 30-percent further growth this year. Additional infrastructure development at the southeast London site may draw on the proceeds of parent company Regional Airports’ planned disposal of its interest in Southend Airport on the north bank of the Thames river estuary east of London.
Just over four years after London Stansted Airport FBO Inflite opened its new Jet Centre facility back in March 1999, the company reports growing volumes of traffic.
A 35-acre site for a new FBO at London’s Southend Airport is to be offered to private developers. Regional Airports Ltd, which also owns the UK capital’s Biggin Hill Airport and operates an FBO at the Royal Air Force’s Northolt base, is positioning Southend to serve business aircraft operators wanting to get close to the government-backed Thames Gateway plan to expand London eastwards.
Work is set to begin on development of a major business aviation enclave at London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 7329), with executive charter broker Air Partner International recently signing an 80-year lease to establish its own operating base on a 115,000-sq-ft plot.
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