London Oxford and London Heliport partner up
London Oxford Airport and the London Heliport, now under single
ownership, are exhibiting together at EBACE in Geneva to highlight the synergies and ease of
travel to interlining jet operators, especially during the London Olympics this
They will also be
incentivised with discounts for the interlining jets, says business development
director James Dillon-Godfray, noting helicopters can operate from Oxford to the Heliport in
just over 20 minutes.
The London Heliport will
benefit from an exemption to the no-fly zone during the Games, meaning that a
large number of dignitaries and other VIPs will be able to use the Heliport as
an easy access route. The vast majority of
international VIPs coming into London will first travel to the West End of
London for their hotels, embassies or residencies, well before venturing on to
the East side for the Games themselves.
As such, both
the Heliport and indeed London Oxford Airport
are on the right side of London
as the first port of call. London
will accordingly be working closely with resident helicopter operators, Capital
Air Services with EC-135, EC-155 and S76 executive helicopters, and PremiAir
who plan to base either a Twin Squirrel or Sikorsky S76 at Oxford.
For VIP ground
transportation to London, or to the Olympic
venues away from London, the airport has an
arrangement with BMW-Rolls Royce to transport VVIPs by car from Oxford to London
or other designated Olympic venues. For example, the rowing events will be
just 45 minutes’ drive away.
“Arriving business jet
passengers are more likely to want to go straight to their West
End hotels first, not the Olympic
venues,” says Dillon-Godfray. And herein lies a challenge. Fast track
VIP ground transportation via special lanes is going to be restricted to those
invited by sponsors and the Olympic families.
“It does not matter how
wealthy or famous they might be, all clients (bar ‘Olympic Family’ members) are
going to have to get on public transport at some stage, but at least with a
direct connection to the London Heliport or comfortable chauffeur car we can
make their arrival into London as smooth as possible,” concedes James Dillon
Godfray. Ground transportation partner, First Class Cars has highlighted
that further clarification on chauffeur drop-off zones for the Olympic Park
zone will be confirmed imminently.
is anticipating a three-fold increase in business aviation traffic during the
peak period of the Games – up to 30 business jet rotations
a day – and it is preparing to resource its operations and customer service
personnel as required. The airport will have space to park up to 40
aircraft (assuming a typical mix of jet sizes),”
Dillon-Godfray says. “The likes of London Luton, Biggin Hill and Farnborough are likely to fill up first and then we can expect a
lot of phone calls asking if we have space, or indeed
slots,” he suggests.
As London Oxford is one of
the airports outside of the restricted zones it means that it will not require the new notice periods for flight plans. Restrictions
applying from 14 July to 15 August state that aircraft will not be allowed
within the ‘prohibited zone’ – which stretches from White Waltham to beyond London City
London Oxford is one of the airports outside of the restricted zones it means jets will not be burdened with the new notification
constraints and filing protocols the likes of Luton, Biggin Hill and
Farnborough will be subject to. The airport also benefits from
being outside the London TMA, making access from the northern aviation