Exclusive: G650 lands at London City


Gulfstream test aircraft MSN 6001 landing at London City for the first time (Image courtesy of Bob Holland)

A Gulfstream G650 has landed at London City Airport for the first time, as the aircraft works towards gaining the certification it needs to regularly use the airport.

Situated in the east of London, City Airport has a steep 5.5-degree approach path and short runway. Aircraft need to be specifically certificated to use the airport, as do pilots that fly into it.

Gulfstream test aircraft, N650GX / MSN 6001 made a rare appearance outside of the US to perform the trials. It arrived at Farnborough Airport during the evening of September 17 and departed to London City Airport on September 18.

In a statement issued to Corporate Jet Investor, a Gulfstream spokesperson confirmed that the G650 will be undertaking the trials needed to gain approval to operate at the airport.

“The Gulfstream G650 is at London City Airport this week demonstrating its steep approach capabilities for the London City Airport Operations and Control Department. The airplane will fly several take-offs and landings, as required to obtain approval to operate at the British airport near the city’s financial district. Once approved, the G650 will be the fastest, largest, longest-range business jet to operate at the airport. “ said the Gulfstream statement.

According to flight tracking website FlightAware.com, G650 N650GX departed London City Airport later on September 18, flying a transatlantic leg to Teterboro Airport, New Jersey.

Although London City Airport is largely used by regional airlines, an increasing number of large business aircraft have been certificated to use the airport.

Large business jets already certificated to use the airport include the entire Dassault Falcon large cabin family, and NetJets received authorization for its Bombardier Global family of aircraft to use the airport in 2014.