Swiss charter operator, Perfect Aviation, says the 2012 Olympic Games will “not bring exceptional opportunities” to UK operators, who will “likely be disadvantaged operating from bases lying within heavily restricted airspace.”
The company’s CEO, Will Curtis, says “it will probably be good for FBOs and British airports generally,” but, he says “overseas operators will take the lions share of the business aviation traffic” into London.
Perfect intends to primarily use Biggin Hill airport for Olympic traffic, but Curtis says the company doesn’t want its aircraft in the London area during the games (27 July – 12 August) because “heavy restrictions and likely confusion are detrimental to our productivity.” He says he has seen operators’ high hopes for big bookings ended at other major sporting events due to ATC restrictions and increased airport fees.
A Perfect Aviation Learjet 45
Perfect is not the only operator that sees the Olympics as a challenge rather than an opportunity. Michael Hampton of Capital Air Services, which flies clients into the London Heliport at Battersea at short notice, told Aviation Week’s ShowNews during EBACE (pages 20-32) that the airspace restrictions “will take away the convenience factor for owners, they will find an alternative way of conducting their lives.”
But TAG Farnborough Airport is more optimistic. CEO Brandon O’Reilly says the Olympics “presents an exciting opportunity to demonstrate to the world why we are Europe’s leading business aviation airport.” Over 700 slots have been taken so far, according to O’Reilly.
The Olympic Games commence two weeks after the Farnborough Air Show.