There are three men behind Biggin Hill Airport’s long, but now successful, crusade to make the local community realize that a world-class specialist airfield is an asset. They are chairman Andrew Walters, managing director Will Curtis and director Robert Walters.

“The big news is that after 20 years of ownership we have won the support of almost 79% of the community for further development of the airport,” Walters told ShowNews. This was achieved after a comprehensive and expensive 12-month campaign which used modern technology to reach out to what is generally the silent majority. “We are enormously grateful to the them for participating and responding and now have a responsibility to deliver on the 2,300 new jobs that we have forecast to attract by 2030.” Currently 1,000 people work at Biggin for 65 based companies. 400,000 square feet of additional new build hangarage and engineering facilities have been allocated and are approved for development.

The UK government and Mayor of London Boris Johnson have designated Biggin Hill as a Strategic Outer London Development Center, which means that planning consent is now aligned from national to local level. “Alignment of the three major planning authorities is unprecedented and gives us a very firm platform to build and invest with certainty for the future,” said Walters. Airport development will include more based companies building or renting facilities.

“We have more spare space to build on than any other airport in the London area,” adds Curtis. “Longer operating hours have also been agreed, giving us the flexibility that we didn’t have in the past. The combination of the hours and the planning policy is a game changer.” Although weekend opening hours have yet to be finalized, on weekdays this designated Port of Entry airport will be open from 0630-2300 to general aviation and business aviation traffic.