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Date posted: 27-03-2015
The London Borough of Bromley has approved, in principle, the request by Biggin Hill Airport to extend its operating hours. The decision was made by the Council’s Executive Committee following a two hour debate of the Full Council and a vote in which 36 Councillors backed the plans and just 10 opposed. The Executive subsequently voted in favour by four votes to two.
The decision follows a Council consultation which attracted an unprecedented 41,711 responses, the largest single response to any Council consultation, in which 31,500 (76%) residents registered their support for the proposals. The response rate was significantly higher in the Council wards immediately around the Airport and from those most affected by the Airport’s operations. In Biggin Hill ward itself, almost one third of the adult population responded to the consultation, with over three quarters supporting the airport.
At the Executive Meeting last night, Council officers confirmed that independent studies had shown that the extended hours were vital in attracting new businesses. Biggin Hill management plan to create a business aviation hub, enticing airport related engineering, manufacturing and service centres. Every business aircraft based at Biggin creates an average of 8 jobs.
The extended hours will also enable the Airport to introduce a detailed programme of noise mitigation measures including comprehensive noise monitoring system for the first time and reduce its agreed noise footprint by 50%.
Will Curtis, Managing Director of Biggin Hill Airport, said:
“We are delighted the Council has approved the Airport’s request for slightly longer operating hours. This is essential if we are to grow the business and attract aviation engineering businesses to Biggin Hill.
“We would like to thank the 31,500 residents who registered their support for the proposals. We have enjoyed a huge amount of public support from the Biggin Hill community and we couldn’t have done it without them.
“We do recognise that there remain a significant number of people that continue to have legitimate concerns and our door is always open to them. We will now re-double our efforts and work with the Council to develop a comprehensive noise mitigation strategy so we can deliver our promise to reduce the agreed noise footprint of the Airport by half.
“We now look forward to working with the GLA, Bromley Council and neighbouring Boroughs in pushing forward the LoCate initiative which aims to create 2,300 new high quality, well paid jobs by 2030 in the aviation engineering sector. With these changes, Biggin Hill can become a 21st century centre of excellence in the business aviation industry – the quietest sector of aviation.”
Biggin Hill Airport and the Council will now negotiate a more detailed agreement to alter the operating hours for final approval by the Council later in the spring/early summer.
Notes to Editors