8 APRIL 2019
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London-based private jet travel is facing a capacity squeeze this summer with Northolt confirming last week it was closing for runway resurfacing. Work began on Friday with the airport scheduled to reopen for business on 11 November.
Pressure has been lessened with the introduction of regional services by Heathrow, meaning the idea of using Northolt for such flights has gone away, but the news still means London’s private jet passengers have one fewer choice of airport for most of the rest of 2019.
The resurfacing work, set to cost £23m, will upgrade the existing runway, improve drainage and install new arrestor beds to improve safety. Officials say the project will extend the life of the current runway by 10-15 years.
In addition to being the RAF’s main operational base in London, including the home of No 32 (The Royal) Squadron, Northolt has become a sought-after private jet facility thanks to its London location and high levels of privacy and security.
Similar airfields at Biggin Hill and Farnborough have both seen significant rises in activity. Southend and Oxford are expected to be able to pick up some of the slack.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Bill Dempster, London
As a supporter of Northolt for business expansion -private/corporate/scheduled services it has always puzzled me the exclusion of runway 13/31 (now a car park ?)in their plans . But with clear approaches over fields from north and south it affords room for added useage with less noise disturbance than the current runway and even extension potential - if the will was there . Cost of course but if you wish to build a business it needs investment on runway upgrade - seemingly lacking political will here . But the potential is there to see. Having worked in Bealine House under the glide path (BEA) and lived in Ickenham I know it well .To see it temporarily closed could be an opportunity to resurface 13/31 too and increase future business .Come on UK PLC. Even private investment ?