The London Heliport at Battersea in London has achieved its best year for activity since 2008 with over 10,500 movements recorded for the year ending March 31, 2016, marking more than 500,000 movements since it began operations.
A high proportion of growth for the year ending March 31 was attributable to business movements, with a considerable uptick in private users at the UK capital’s heliport during 2015. This private use includes the prolific weekly departures by the King Power Group’s Agusta A109, which leaves the capital for the midlands city of Leicester, whose English Premier League soccer club, Leicester City FC, is owned by the group and is enjoying a historic season and run toward the Premier League title.
Around 20% of movements at the heliport were inter-lining with business jet flights, according to general manager Simon Hutchins, and the top airports for connections last year included London Stansted, London Luton, London Oxford Airport and Farnborough.
The heliport has also taken local vicinity VFR air traffic control in-house with its own staff with a view to improving the service and becoming more responsive. VFR ATC staffing had been previously outsourced.
“We have done this not only out of self-interest as a business providing a valued landing site for commercial air transport and privately-owned helicopter operations, but also for the public service, military and diplomatic users, for whom the London Heliport is of crucial importance,” Hutchins said.