London Biggin Hill Eyes New Traffic with Extended Hours

London Biggin Hill Airport, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is preparing to extend its hours beginning May 1, a move it believes will bring even more interest from U.S. operators wanting to avoid the congestion and expense of the larger London airports. Already the airport has reported increased U.S. traffic over the past year.

The new hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday, adding one hour in the evenings. But the main increase is on weekends, when the airport will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. instead of the current 9 a.m.to 8 p.m. The changes required amendments to the airport’s long lease with freeholder Bromley Borough Council, and before that, a public consultation and council debate.

Meanwhile, the airport is pushing ahead with ambitious plans for a hotel and training college, while promoting heavily the possibility that companies could base themselves at the airport. Bombardier and Signature last year took over the former Rizon hangar, and are now running the maintenance and FBO sides, respectively.

Business development director Robert Walters told BJT that the extended opening hours would allow Biggin Hill to accept “earlier transatlantic flights, getting people off and out into Europe for the working day,” and at night, flights to the Middle East would be able to take off and arrive in the early morning. “We’ve never been able to [accommodate] that before,” Walters said, adding that he believes having no slot restrictions will give Biggin Hill a major advantage over airports such as London Stansted and Luton.

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