London Oxford welcomes heavy jets for Olympics


Heavy jets use London Oxford during the 2012 London Olympic Games

London Oxford and BBJLondon Oxford Airport has reported a notable increase in the number
of heavy jets using the airport in the weeks leading up to the Olympics in London. Compared with
the same period of last year it welcomed 180% more Gulfstreams, Global Express
and Falcon 7X aircraft and benefitted from the fact that with one London airport full, it saw its first use by Boeing Business Jets. 

These heavy jets accounted
for over 50 slots, headed primarily for the USA or Middle East
and endorsing the investment by the airport’s owners, enabling it to regularly accept aircraft such as the 55-tonne Embraer
Lineage (EMB-190) and larger Airbus types.

Sister airport, The Barclays
London Heliport, also reported a notable increase in activity in the week
before the Games, a 63% increase in what is normally the quieter ‘holiday
season’ period.  The heliport welcomed new visitors, including Games
sponsors and corporates taking advantage of the fact that the heliport is the
only central London
landing site permitted for private and chartered helicopter use during the

‘We all were waiting to see
what the ‘Olympics effect’ was going to be this summer, and despite the fact
that many UK-based owners of aircraft booked their annual vacations or
temporarily migrated overseas over the period, some putting their business jets
in for maintenance, this has been compensated for by new, first time users who
have come away with a positive impression about Oxford Airport and London
Heliport,” said James Dillon-Godfray, business development director.
“Furthermore, we are still seeing that the majority
of operators at both airports are booking merely a day or two ahead of
schedule, so no real change in their habits.”

remains outside the Olympics Restricted Zone surrounding London
which requires far tighter flight planning rules but also benefits from being
outside of the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area (LTMA) which is the busiest airspace
in Europe even outside of the Olympics. 
It also boasts better opening hours than many of its peer airports, being able
to operate from 06:00 to midnight, seven days a week,” Dillon-Godfray added.

 Photograph: A BBJ has been among many heavy jets currently
operating out of London
Oxford Airport