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Date posted: 09-10-2014
Biggin Hill Airport has announced plans to create 2,300 new jobs over the next fifteen years and cut its noise footprint by 50%.
This week, thousands of newsletters will be distributed to local residents inviting them to participate in a consultation.
For those wishing to find out more, the airport will run a public information display between Monday 13th and Saturday 18th October. Details can be also be found on a new consultation website – www.bigginhillfuture.co.uk .
To maximise the response, the airport will enter every response they receive into a prize draw to win a £5,000 holiday.
The Airport’s strategy is to continue to focus predominantly on business aviation. Every business aircraft based at Biggin creates, on average, 8 jobs. Today, Biggin Hill is one of the biggest employment centres in Bromley with 65 companies on the site supporting over 1,000 jobs. Jobs range from aircraft technicians to fire-fighters and administrators.
The Biggin Hill plan involves:
Will Curtis, Managing Director of Biggin Hill Airport, said:
“Biggin Hill has been identified by Government as a strategic growth area. The airport is currently very underused.
“There is increasing pressure on the Government to find more airport capacity in the South East and smaller airports are at risk of being used to fill the gaps. We argue that Biggin should continue as a small airport focused on Business and General Aviation and should not be used for scheduled and holiday charter airline services. Local residents have been clear with me that they do not want scheduled and holiday charter airlines here and nor do we. We want to be a small, specialist, Business and General Aviation airport for London.
“I believe that the choice is between deciding our own future now, or letting others do it for us later. We need to make better use of our facilities if we are to secure Biggin Hill’s future as a successful, small, business airport that creates well-paid jobs for local residents.
“An integral part of our vision is to reduce the impact of the Airport on residents living under the flight path. We are publishing a Noise Action Plan which will reduce the noise footprint of the airport by 50%. Our plan will attract more business aircraft, but the number of light aircraft is falling annually so we expect no overall increase in the number of flights using Biggin Hill airport.
“Before making any proposals to the Council, we want to hear what local people think. I live in Biggin Hill so I want to see the airport remain very much as it is today. But to do that sustainably, we have to attract more business aircraft. To do that we need to open a bit longer because aircraft owners want flexibility. They will not base an aircraft with us if it is locked in by overly restrictive airport hours. It is important that we all think carefully about this, because if, as a community, we do not make a firm decision to go with Business Aviation, then we may find we are eventually forced by Government to take some overspill scheduled traffic in the next 10 years as other London airports begin to run out of capacity.
“Business aviation is by far the quietest and lowest density sector of commercial aviation and so I argue that it works best for the community around the airport. Even if our plans to create more hangars and jobs are fulfilled, we will still only have an average of 2 flights per hour by 2030.”
To reassure residents, the Airport has published a pledge to the community:
Taken together, these measures will help create 2,300 more jobs by 2030 and make the airport quieter.