Biggin Hill Covid-19 test centre open and operational


London Biggin Hill Airport opened a Covid-19 testing centre last Thursday (November 19th). Claimed to be the first dedicated business aviation airport in Europe to have an operational test facility, the centre was named the Mansi Testing Suite, after unsung WW2 hero Dr Joe Mansi, who risked his life to save bomb victims.

The centre will offer four different types of test provided by Covid-19 testing organisation, G16. These include PCR Testing, LAMP Testing, Antigen Testing and Antibody Testing. The results are available in as little as 15-minutes or up to two days, depending which type is selected. To set up, the premises had to be deep cleaned and sterilised, booths were built and socially distanced seating arranged. It took the team 48 hours in all.

Robert Walters, commercial director, London Biggin Hill Airport, said the motivation behind opening the test centre was to provide a “much needed” service for the local community and the airport.

He told Corporate Jet Investor: “An extension of our Contactless Travel initiative, we wanted to ensure that our staff, resident businesses and customers feel comfortable travelling through our airport and reassured that quality testing is readily available should they need it.”

Walters also said Biggin Hill is anticipating the end of current travel rules and the possibility of a “test to release” initiative.

As of Sunday [November 29th], we now know that the [UK] Transport Secretary is expected to replace the 14-day quarantine rule with a five-day testing plan, which is great news for the travel industry. We anticipate that testing, alongside a vaccine, will remain crucial as we move forward and we’re pleased to be the first dedicated business aviation airport in Europe to have a testing facility up and running,” said Walters.

The centre’s name commemorates Mansi, a local doctor who “performed miracles” while attending to victims at the airport after it suffered a devastating raid on August 30th, 1940. Mansi risked his life to dig out people trapped underground after a bomb exploded on a trench shelter where 40 airmen and civilians were taking cover.

Walters said: “We are very proud to pay tribute to Dr Joe Mansi and honour the countless other ‘unsung war heroes’ who risked their lives to save others during the Second World War. This facility will provide a legacy them, while simultaneously helping to serve the airport and local community.”

All tests must be pre-booked online here