London-area FBO chain Harrods Aviation has opened its new 8,000-sq-ft facility at London’s Luton Airport. The expanded premises, which immediately adjoin the company’s existing 2,000-sq-ft building, include a larger lounge, private VIP lounge, conference suite, flight-planning room and handling office. Crews now have their own lounge with Internet access. An enlarged 90,000-sq-ft ramp is immediately accessible from the building.
A family of three were killed July 19 when the Hughes 500 helicopter they had chartered for a sightseeing flight over the Kentish countryside crashed shortly after takeoff from Biggin Hill Airport. It was not clear what caused the 10 a.m. crash near the village of Cudham in the Sevenoaks area.
This year–as in years past– Farnborough attendees can expect a frustrating trip to the show, with gridlock between the venue and the M3 a near certainty. For attendees who want to avoid spending hours in the car, PremiAir is offering flights from the London Heliport in Battersea to the show site. The 20-minute flight in an executive-configured Eurocopter AS 355 sells for about $1,500 (£775).
Aviation safety officials probing the British Airways (BA) Boeing 777 accident at London Heathrow in January are continuing to focus on the fuel system. They want to know why the airplane lost power on final approach to LHR. The 777, on a long-range flight from Beijing to London, touched down 1,000 feet short of the paved surface of LHR’s Runway 27L before coming to rest astride a taxiway junction near the threshold.
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.
Executive charter group Air Partner has received a green light to proceed with its plans to create a purpose-built business aviation enclave at London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 1653). Valued at almost $14 million, the project includes construction of a 40,000-sq-ft hangar on a site leased from the privately run airport.
The London City Airport operator has entered the executive charter market with a new Dassault Falcon 900EX. Early in October it secured a commercial AOC for the aircraft, which will also be flown for Irish entrepreneur Dermot Desmond, who owns the airport.
London’s docklands area, located east of the capital, has a new helipad– just 15 minutes from the Excel exhibition center and London City Airport (which bans rotorcraft) and 20 minutes from the Canary Wharf business district.
MacCarthy Interiors in Surrey, England, has delivered its first Sikorsky S-92 with an executive interior. The job for a private owner was part of a contract with Harrods Aviation (MacCarthy is a preferred interiors supplier for Harrods), and involved first stripping out the old interior. Among the upgrade items is a forward lavatory and new leather seats.
Excel-Jet is looking for a new home to continue with development of the single-engine Sport-Jet and is considering a move to Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, La., a former air force base with plenty of room for new businesses. Excel-Jet is seeking $1 million in local incentives, a new hangar, $10 million from state bonds and additional Louisiana economic development money.