Meet the Manager – Colin Hitchins, London Biggin Hill Airport


London Biggin Hill Airport’s head of corporate social responsibility and sustainability discusses how to make an airport more sustainable.

What was your career path to your current role? 

I began working with London Biggin Hill Airport in 2003, where I was chief executive for Air Displays International and worked closely with the airport to run the Biggin Hill International Air Fair until 2010.

Before that time and for some years during, I was a station officer for the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority. In 2018, I went on to become an elected council member of the London Borough of Bromley, a post I still hold today.

I joined London Biggin Hill in 2014 as the airport’s community engagement manager and was appointed head of CSR and Sustainability in 2021.

Can you describe a typical day?  

The great thing about London Biggin Hill Airport is that no day is the same. In my role as head of CSR and sustainability, one of my chief responsibilities is to connect with local businesses and people, audit the processes already in place at the airport, and learn how these and the wider airport operation, affect our community and those businesses working within it.

Sustainability is taking on new levels of importance each year, and as the effects of Covid-19 subside, the wider aviation industry is putting it back to the top of the agenda. We are prioritizing growing our business in a sustainable way. I have worked together with the airport’s leadership team to create our ‘Sustainability Statement’, which is a commitment to achieving carbon neutral status by 2029.

We have also recently joined the Airports Council International’s (ACI’s) Carbon Accreditation scheme, the only institutionally endorsed, global carbon management certification program for airports. Liaising with the ACI and ensuring sustainability best practice will form part of my daily responsibility.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?  

My biggest challenge is motivating our local community, staff and resident businesses to maintain the daily efforts required to ensure all our operations are carried out in the most sustainable way possible. Moving in the same direction and at the same pace is a difficult task, but with a common goal of being carbon-neutral by 2029, I have faith that we will pull together to meet the targets we have set.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

I’m privileged to be able to work alongside community businesses and leaders, and the public. I find it very rewarding to witness and play a central role in ensuring the airport supports the local community, and vice versa.

What advice would you give someone looking to make their airport or FBO more sustainable?

The business aviation sector is moving rapidly to make its operations as sustainable as possible. As with any important change, however, the first step is recognition. Conducting an uncompromising analysis of the entire business, its current processes and standards is where I would advise beginning.

What does the future hold for London Biggin Hill?  

We have several announcements in the pipeline but right now, we are introducing four new pillars of focus for the airport. These are Our Business, Our Community, Our People, and Our Environment. Each pillar has its own set of goals to help us reach our sustainability targets.


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About Author


Paige is an experienced journalist and editor who started her career covering the building and architecture sector. After several years writing and editing online and print articles for leading journals in this sector, she is bringing her thorough approach to technical content to covering aerospace engineering. In her spare time she enjoys traveling and is always planning her next trip

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