Biggin Hill sees modest growth during Olympics

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Biggin Hill Airport saw a 12.5% growth and a number of large corporate jets arrive for the London Olympics.

Robert WaltersBiggin Hill Airport handled a number of large corporate jets and experienced some demanding peaks during the London Olympic Games says Robert Walters, business development manager in a post-Olympic de-brief.

Walters (pictured) highlighted that 1,300 slots were taken during the period 21st July to 15th August. The ACL slot system worked well for the airport and that no problems were encountered. There had been growth of 12.5% for business aviation during July 2012, compared against July last year. The first two weeks of July and the final week were strong, week 3 saw a temporary decline of usual traffic levels.

Corporate traffic included several BBJ’s, many Global Express and Gulfstream in a varied mix of business aircraft used the airport. Regular corporate charters from European destinations operated by ATR 42 & 72 aircraft were also handled.

Walters said that the peak period for movements was during 26th to 29th July anf that the busiest hour was during Saturday morning, 28th July, with 16 outbound and 4 inbound jets in a 60 minute period.

The airport parked at the peak period between 26th – 29th July, 80 corporate aircraft on ramps around the airfield and on the subsidiary runway 11/29 where a remote drop-off facility was established. The parks were extensively floodlit during hours of darkness as a security enhancement.

The terminal hangar was full throughout the period, types ranging from S.76 helicopters up to BBJ’s. Walters mentioned the fine on-site support from Gulfstream who positioned an engineering team at the airport for the duration.

“Together with our FBO partners Jet Aviation and Rizonjet, the handling arrangements were seamlessly managed for customers, reflecting great credit on all staff teams involved” said Walters.

“We have been encouraged by the number of new customers using the airport for the first time, approximately 12% of the total. The logistics required for the London Games has brought us extended capabilities and new ideas. Our task now is to build on that legacy,” Walters said.

“We now look forward to welcoming visitors to the Paralympic Games later this month and for the MIU-organised ‘Business Aircraft Europe’ event in mid-September,” concluded Walters.

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