Biggin Hill grows its business


A Legacy 600 private jet takes-off from London Biggin Hill Airport.

London Biggin Hill Airport is riding high on a wave of success, after three key organisations are now in favour of growing the business at the airport.

Now, Bromley Council, the Mayor of London and the National Government are all in favour of the expansion plans that the airport has.

There are now 56 business aircraft based at the airport and it is expected that that will grow to 60 aircraft within weeks. In the future, the airport can see that 100 aircraft might be based there. Many of the new based aircraft are the long-haul aircraft such as Airbus Corporate Jets, Boeing Business Jets and Bombardier Global jets.

The airport has 3 Fixed Based Operators (FBOs), all offer a different type of handling to their clients and is seen as an ‘Airport of Choice’.

There are plans to expand at the airport and land is available for hangars and offices. The airport has announced that it will be setting up an Aviation Technical Training College for engineering students who want to pursue a career in business aviation. It will be situated at the West Camp. There are already many student apprentices at a number of the 65 companies that are based at the airport.

According to Robert Walters, business development director at the airport says: “Our stars have aligned.”

“Our stars have aligned.”

It might have been lucky that all three major authorities agreed at the same time on the airport plans, but we now need to move forward and make some of the plans reality.

The local community was involved and will reap the rewards along with the airport. The plans involve the creation of up to 2,300 jobs, backed by Bromley Council and it has become a strategic growth area of London.

Along with the new jobs, there will be between 400,000 to 600,000 square feet of space at the airport to be developed over the next 15 years.

Another success that the airport can talk about is the extended opening and operating hours.

The airport can now operate between 0630 to 2300 on Monday to Saturday and 0800 to 2300 on Sunday, although the Sunday hours might change slightly. Will Curtis worked hard with all parties to get agreement on these extended hours.

There will be a number of other general upgrades of facilities at the airport, upgrades of taxiways, refurbishment of the current terminal and the completion of the upgrade and installation of the new 03 approach by late summer 2016.

The airport is still challenging the Northolt Airport decision, it was disappointed at the judgement and with the attitude of the military. Biggin Hill are still insisting that Northolt is now more a civilian airport rather than a military one. Over 90 percent of movements are civilian according to an independent survey commissioned by the airport and its supporters. There is only one military aircraft based at Northolt now.

Biggin Hill has no issues with the military but the airport wants everyone to be treated equally and that is not the case now with Northolt who are operating to a different series of rules. CAA are reviewing how it can handle RAF Northolt movements. At the moment, Northolt have benefits that other civialian business airports do not. The military circumvents many of the civilian rules and regulations. There is also a European review on the operations at Northolt.

Biggin Hill is waiting for another decision in a few weeks on the matter.