Supplier Spotlight

Latest video

Forming the future of Wanaka Airport

Residents in Wanaka, New Zealand, were encouraged to join conversations on the future of Wanaka Airport at interactive community and stakeholder engagement sessions. Discussions surrounding what the hub could evolve into by 2045 included the airport’s strengths, thoughts on the return of scheduled services and opportunities for growth.

18th June 2018

The future of flying

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has published a report in cooperation with young people think tank ThinkYoung called Expanding Horizons: How Millennials see the Future of Business Aviation. The survey asked young people aged 18-25 in Germany, France, the UK and Switzerland about mobility, business aviation and the future of sustainable personal air transport. Read more on Andrea Gerosa, founder of young people’s think-tank ThinkYoung, thoughts here

04th June 2018

How many trade visitors is this week's Farnborough Airshow expected to attract? 

Industry Opinion

« back to blog listings

How do you make business aviation airports competitive?

Robert Walters, business development director at London Biggin Hill Airport, explores how business airports should be striving for efficiency in every service they provide, and how they can prepare for the growing demands of business aviation.

Today, thanks to the democratizing power of the internet, almost any organization can extend its reach to become a global business. Despite this, we all know that Skype is a poor replacement for a real-life face-to-face meeting, so anyone keeping an eye on the business horizon will have expected that business aviation would experience a resurgence – WingX Advance’s report showing that 2017 has had a 3% increase in flights year-to-date confirms this.

With more travelers to accommodate and compete for, business airports must prioritize modernization and expansion to meet the growing demand. A single improvement such as extending operating hours can give an airport’s business aviation movements a much-needed boost. At London Biggin Hill Airport (LBHA) in the UK, implementing new operating hours of 6:30am to 11:00pm on weekdays and 8:00am to 10:00pm at weekends has increased movements by 21%.

Making preparations such as these will propel the modern business aviation airport into the future and help it to attain the ultimate business travel ideal – complete, wall-to-wall efficiency across every service.

Business travelers
Business travelers demand exceptional levels of speed, efficiency and seamlessness from an airport, because when every wasted minute standing in a queue or waiting for their jet costs them money, it is down to the airport to keep that cost as low as possible. By streamlining every service to make transit, arrival, and departure as smooth and fast as possible, an airport can help reduce or even reclaim lost time for the traveler.

There are several examples of this efficiency in action. In over 200 locations, Signature’s FBOs have dedicated spaces and VIP meeting rooms to ensure every spare minute can be utilized for business. Providing a direct route to the nearest city is also necessary when every minute counts; LBHA provides the fastest transfer to central London through its six-minute London Heli Shuttle service.

Queuing, too, is the antithesis of efficiency. If a dedicated business aviation airport has its own Border Agency office in the terminal, travelers can breeze through passport and security checks in a matter of minutes. However, it is only by coordinating these services with every other part of the airport that true efficiency can be achieved.

For a fully integrated service, airports should aim to replicate every visiting aircraft’s home base, with each service such as refueling, maintenance, refurbishing and catering working together to make the aircraft’s turnaround swift and seamless. Operators should be able to have an aircraft secured, a new part fitted or specialist catering supplied all in one place.

When schedules can change mid-flight, it also helps to make an airport as open as possible for unexpected arrivals or changes to the timetable. Removing runway slot restrictions is essential if an airport wants to work with those to-the-minute itineraries; and with every part of the airport working in sync, new aircraft can be absorbed into the cycle of services with little disruption.

In the UK and across the globe, modernizing airspaces will result in a marked increase in air traffic and with more aircraft in our skies, it is imperative that landing restrictions help to alleviate, rather than heighten, the issues that may accompany such change.

It is only by fully supporting aspirations with infrastructure that an airport can hope to become entirely efficient. Growth is facilitated by identifying and then eliminating barriers to efficiency – for instance, LBHA has a new 60,000ft² (5,574m²) hangar on track to be completed by the end of the year in addition to the impending construction of a four-star crew hotel.

This means that in the near future, every element that contributes toward a successful flight can be located on-site. While UK airports await a fair framework for sustainable growth from the government, they must in the meantime take the initiative, identify their own weaknesses, and deliver the infrastructure to solve them.

Such projects provide a boost for the region’s community as well as the airport, meaning new jobs are filled by knowledgeable local staff. Working closely with local government means that airports can put in place programs to train the next generation of staff – this is a necessary endeavor, as the aviation industry is threatened by a shortage of skilled engineers. Business aviation airports must lead the way to ensure these highly-skilled professionals will still be available in the future, or risk disrupting the efficiency of its services.

In the business aviation airport industry efficiency is king, but being confident that that same level of efficiency will be sustainable in the future – that is an airport’s real challenge.

September 4, 2017



There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.

Your email address:

Read Latest Issue

Exclusive Articles

George Galanopoulos, managing director of Luxaviation UK, talks to BAI about peak season operations, the influx of millennial passengers and new helicopter partnerships.
Click here to read more

Annika Abraham, managing director EMEAA at Avinode Group, speaks exclusively to BAI about the evolving technology in business aviation, the company’s expanding customer offerings and her career to date.
Click here to read more

John Dewing, flight support operations and facilities manager at SaxonAir, talks to BAI about potential business opportunities offshore, renewable energy and Brexit.
Click here to read more

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the business airport community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier Spotlight Want to see your company included? Contact for more details.