Rizon Jet Biggin Hill to host Dambusters anniversary
Qatari business aviation company Rizon Jet is providing its hangar space and its VIP terminal at historic former RAF Battle of Britain fighter station, Biggin Hill to host the largest RAF event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters raid.
Rizon Jet’s award-winning multi-million pound VIP terminal and maintenance operation based at London Biggin Hill Airport opened in May 2011.
On Friday 17 May, Rizon Jet will host a special Dambusters themed BBC Radio 2 concert “The Dambusters Raid – 70 Years On” featuring music from the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Central Band of the RAF and the Military Wives Choir.
The concert will be presented by Dermot O’Leary and Jeremy Vine will re-tell the story of the raid via narration, drama and historian interviews plus special messages from veterans and Barnes Wallis’ daughter alongside music from the era performed in front of a 2,500-strong audience.
Talking about the 70th anniversary, veteran George ‘Johnnie’ Johnson said: “It was sensational at the time and 70 years on it is still remembered by a number of people. Also, it can bring together [two of the] surviving members of the original squadron. That is something that is worth celebrating as well.”
Veteran Les Munro said, “70 years on and I still have memories of the Dambusters Raid and how it affected so many people on both sides of the war. The Bomber Command Memorial [a tribute to the 55,573 Bomber Command crew who lost their lives in the WWII]… means we will always remember and hopefully learn from the past so future generations will not experience the pain and upset of another world war.”
Talking about how she would like her father, Barnes Wallis, to be remembered, Mary Stopes-Roe said: “As a man of high principles, great intelligence, a good deal of wisdom as well and a lot of fun.”
Rizon Jet’s CEO, Captain Hassan Al-Mousawi said: “Rizon Jet appreciates the historic significance of this site and is honoured to support what is billed as the largest live music event commemorating the Dambusters 70th anniversary. Our impressive building attracts much attention from visitors to the airport as well as companies seeking a backdrop for their exclusive luxury products. Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Asprey, The Mayfair Hotel and Bremont Watches have all taken space in the beautiful surroundings to showcase their goods.”
Previously, Rizon Jet’s London FBO has provided the evening reception at the annual Business Aircraft Expo (BAE) held at Biggin Hill Airport since 2011. Last year’s event saw Rizon Jet and The Mayfair Hotel London welcoming delegates to enjoy a private display by the Spitfire Company Ltd Biggin Hill Spitfire Mk IX ‘The Spirit of Kent’, which later joined the event as a centrepiece in the hangar.
The concert will be broadcast live on Friday 17 May as part of BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night series.
Rizon Jet has made the necessary arrangements to minimise disruption of activities at its facility and is working with London Biggin Hill Airport and neighbouring tenants to ensure a memorable event, organised by multi-media production companies Snappin’ Turtle and TBI Media.
Photograph: Rizon Jet Biggin Hill facility