Bosses at London's Biggin Hill airport say a new 5,600m2 (60,300ft2) hangar – due to open by the end of the year – extended hours, and an increasingly popular helicopter link to the city centre will give it the edge over the capital's half dozen or so rival business aviation gateways. It is at the show keen to sign up more US-based customers.

Biggin Hill, which already hosts around 10 maintenance, repair and overhaul providers including Bombardier, is in the final stages of completing the hangar, which will provide parking space for six Bombardier Global or large Gulfstream aircraft. The development includes rentable office space and around 6,000m2 of additional ramp space.

Business development director Robert Walters says the airport "looks forward to welcoming new customers as early as Christmas".

The helicopter shuttle service, operated by Castle Air, has also just carried out its 2,500th flight since launching in 2015, taking Biggin Hill passengers between the airport in the southeastern suburbs and Battersea Heliport on the Thames, a journey of 6min. The Biggin Hill-based company operates six Leonardo Helicopters AW109 Grands.

Andy Patsalides, marketing manager at Biggin Hill, says the shuttle was established because clients wanted a rapid route into central London. "It’s clear from the popularity of the service the that we continue to prove ourselves as the preferred business aviation gateway for London and the City," he says.

Walters adds: "The service really resonates with our US customers. It's a game-changer as we are basically saving them huge chunks of time. Clients can book flights 15min ahead and flights can be operated with one or two crew."

The airport recently extended its opening hours from 06:30 to 23:00 on weekdays and 08:00 to 22:00 at weekends, allowing "US travellers to arrive at a more convenient time," says Walters. "Those going east, say to the Gulf, can also leave late in the evening."

Walters adds: "No other business airport in the world that we know of has managed to extend their opening hours in this way. It is because we have such solid community support. We and our tenants are providing jobs and opportunities, and the local community realises that."

For all the coverage from NBAA visit our dedicated show page here

Source: Flight Daily News