What is London’s best business aviation airport?
Corporate Jet Investor compares seven airports around London, looking at the various fees they charge, along with the time it takes to get into the City.
Few cities offer as many options to land your business jet as London, but with the likes of London Oxford Airport situated more than 60 miles from the city centre, London’s borders have little bearing on the ambitions of airport marketing departments.
Having re-branded itself in 2009, the former RAF Kidlington – still some eight miles from Oxford – joined a list of airports including Biggin Hill, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and Southend already incorporating the capital’s name into their titles.
With operators and business jet owners spoilt for choice, Corporate Jet Investor has compared seven airports based around London that handle business aircraft on a daily basis, looking at the fees they charge and the time it takes to get into London’s square mile.
As was perhaps to be expected, London City Airport, the closest airport to the City, is also the most expensive. More surprising though is London Luton Airport, which charges less than half as much as London City and Biggin Hill, despite providing clients with the ability to reach the City in less than an hour.
Of course, the quickest way to reach London from any of the airports is by helicopter. Biggin Hill is just seven minutes from the London Heliport by helicopter and it is an option from all seven of the airports below. London Oxford to the heliport takes less than 20 minutes.
There is no such thing as the right airport for every mission. Not all types of large aircraft are capable at landing at London City Airport, for example, and others prefer dedicated business aviation airports like Farnborough or Biggin Hill. Saving time is one of the key uses of business aircraft so the extra cost of a closer airport could easily outweigh the extra hour in a car (especially if weather conditions ground helicopters which does happen in the winter.)
Quickest to London
We used Google Maps to calculate the average journey time by car from each airport into London’s square mile.
London City Airport: 22 minutes; London Biggin Hill Airport: 48 minutes; London Stansted Airport: 52 minutes; London Luton Airport: 55 minutes; Farnborough Airport: 65 minutes; Cambridge Airport: 78 minutes; London Oxford Airport: 85 minutes.
Landing and handling fees
We asked each airport to provide us with the average combined cost of landing and handling a Bombardier Global Express.
London Luton Airport: £745; Cambridge Airport: £860; London Stansted Airport: £990; Farnborough Airport: £1,160; London Oxford Airport: £1,270; London Biggin Hill Airport: £1,710; London City Airport: £1,850.
24 hour parking fees
We asked each airport to provide us with the cost of parking a Bombardier Global Express for 24 hours.
London Oxford Airport: £228; London Biggin Hill Airport: £300; Farnborough Airport: £680; London Stansted Airport: £744; London Luton Airport: £874; Cambridge Airport: £920; London City Airport: £2,370.
Annual business jet movements
London Luton Airport handled considerably more business jets in 2012 than any other airport in the London area.