Biggin Hill Future

Q. What are your proposals?

A. Staying within our current boundaries, we are proposing the following changes:
• Building more hangars and offices so more companies can be based at Biggin Hill, creating 2,300 new jobs over the next 15 years.
• Developing a training college so local people get the well paid, skilled jobs that will available.
• Building a hotel for visiting overseas flight crews, engineers and the public.
• Being more competitive on our airport opening hours, which means staying open a bit longer.

Q. What will the new opening hours be?

A. Our current opening hours are:
• 6.30am - 10pm Mon - Fri
• 9am - 8pm Sat & Sun

Proposed opening hours:
• 6.30am - 11pm Mon - Sat
• 8am - 11pm Sunday

Q. Are you going to be building on the airport at all?

A. Yes, there is likely to be new hangars and offices built at the airport, in addition to a hotel, training college and heritage centre. However, there will be no building beyond the existing boundaries of the airport, nor will there be any new runways.

Q. What type of aircraft will be used in the extended opening hours?

A. The extended hours will be restricted to business aircraft only. Business aircraft are some of the quietest in aviation, and the number of flights will be limited during the extended hours.

Q. What are the total numbers of extra flights that can be expected?

A. There will be no overall increase in flights from 2010 levels, which is 50,000 per year. Our plan will attract more business aircraft, but this increase will be offset by the continuing decline in light aviation due to rising costs and a change in the general aspirations of young people today.

Q. Why do you need longer opening hours in Biggin Hill?

A. We compete for our customers with other small, business airports in UK and Europe - most of whom have more flexible hours. We operate in a unique market that is all about persuading customers to permanently base their business aircraft at Biggin Hill, not just occasionally visit. By doing this, we create business and jobs for the 65 service companies already based here. Each business aircraft based here creates, on average, 8 jobs

Business aircraft owners choose bases that have the most flexible opening hours. It's not that they always want to fly early in the morning or late at night - they want to know they can. That's what makes the difference, and that's why we need more competitive opening hours.

Q. Will the flights start in the early morning and finish late at night seven days a week?

A. During weekdays nothing will fly earlier than currently allowed, which is 6.30am. Saturdays will be treated as a weekday. On Sunday mornings there will be flights from 8am instead of from 9am. But there will be a limit of 8 movements between 0800 and 0900 to ensure noise is kept to a minimum.

We will close at 2300 every day. There will be a new limit of 8 movements between 2200 and 2300. This will offer the flexibility our customers demand whilst ensuring noise is kept to a minimum. Only the quietest aircraft will be allowed to use the airport. Noisier Stage 2 aircraft will be banned completely from January 2015.

Q. Why does the airport need to be changed?

A. We need these changes to succeed as a business, and demonstrate that the airport's future lies in being a small airport for Business and General aviation. Our current opening hours are simply not competitive enough. The alternative is to let the airport wither on the vine, which will put it at risk of being targeted by government to solve the London Airports runway capacity crisis.

Q. Will the longer opening hours generate increased noise and pollution from the airport?

A. There will be no overall increase in flights and we will put in place a comprehensive noise action plan to reduce the disturbance caused to local residents. We will reduce the current agreed noise footprint by 50%. This will be achieved by banning the noisiest aircraft, by changing the current flight paths so that aircraft stay higher for longer and by preventing light aircraft from flying over residential areas.

Q. Will there be more noise early in the morning and late at night leading to sleep disturbance?

A. Our plan has been designed to ensure that noise is reduced overall. Our agreed noise footprint - the amount of noise we are permitted to make - will be cut by 50%. The flight path will be changed so that aircraft stay higher for longer. Information about flights and noise will be made publically accessible so that residents can hold us to account on our promises. Only the quietest aircraft will be allowed to use the airport in the early morning and evening shoulder hours.

Q. Will your plans cause more road congestion in the area?

A. The impact will be minimal because the extra flights will be limited, and there will be no overall increase in flights from 2010 levels. Business aircraft have the lowest impact on roads, given they typically by their nature they generate only a small number of passengers.

Q. Private jets are notoriously bad for the environment given the fuel they use in proportion to the number of people they carry: How do you plan to offset this?

A. Actually, this is not true. Business jets emit much lower levels of damaging compounds than airline engines because they tend to be the newer and more economic models. For instance, a Learjet45 can actually cross the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland on less fuel than a Boeing 747 uses just to taxi from the stand to the runway at Heathrow before it takes off.

Q. Will this provide more business opportunities for companies already located in Biggin Hill Airport?

A. Yes, there will be more customers to service, which will enable the companies based here to hire more staff and more new apprentices.

Q. What new companies are going to be based at the airport?

A. We hope to attract the world's leading service companies for business aircraft, as well as those with a need to be close to a business airport, such as Formula One, who are already based here.

Q. How will these plans affect the value of my home?

A. The increased opportunity for jobs and new businesses at the airport will provide a positive demand on the housing market in the vicinity of the airport and surrounding area and as such will increase the value due to the demand.

Q. What are your next steps?

A. Our consultation will run until 24th October, after which point we will collate all the feedback and review our proposals in light of it. We will also share the feedback we receive with Bromley Council. After that we intend to submit a formal application to amend the lease, the details of which will be put into the public domain. The council will then consider this application and decide upon it.

Q. Where can I find out more information about the proposals?

A. 180,000 information leaflets are being distributed to Bromley residents. People can also visit to review our plans in more detail and give their feedback. Public information sessions will also be held at the airport at the following dates and times:

Monday 13th - Friday 17th October
3pm - 7pm

Saturday 18th October
10am - 2pm

Q. What is the last day I can submit feedback on the scheme?

A. Friday 24th October