Business Aviation Guide: London

By June 22, 2020 No Comments

A powerful cosmopolitan metropolis in the heart of Great Britain, London’s
unique position as the economic hub of Europe brings many business
advantages. One such advantage includes having a significant number of
airports that are open and accessible to business travel.

Whether you are visiting London for business or fun, planning the flights
beforehand and choosing the ideal airport to land in are crucial details. While
this is true of any destination, it is especially true in London, as the
concentration of flights often result in aircraft restrictions depending on the

To address this concern, you can leverage Flightworx’s flight planning services,
which go all the way from planning to fuel dealers search and obtaining of slots.

Balancing Convenience, Cost and Flexibility

Wherever you need to go in London, it’s importance to consider how you can
best balance convenience, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. A series of
restrictions in the busiest airports means that it is very difficult to land at the
city’s main airports without facing inflexible slot times or high parking and
operating costs.

If you are going to the Canary Wharf region, for instance, London City Airport
(LCY/EGLC) is the nearest option. However, in London, closeness is not always
a synonym for convenience. London City Airport, for instance, has difficult slot
restrictions and high parking costs, as well as very limited parking space and
severe performance requirements that limit which type of aircraft are approved
to land.

The same logic applies to London – Heathrow (LHR/EGLL). The second-nearest
airport from downtown London and England’s main hub, Heathrow has even
stricter slot restrictions due to its proximity to neighborhoods and busy
commercial traffic. This may prevent your flights from leaving at the desired
time due to the very limited open timeframes. Gatwick (LGW/EGKK) is also
used by major airlines and faces similar issues, although with slightly more slot

Searching for More Flexible Airports

While these airports may be more restrictive, other options exist near London
that provide great flexibly. Of the alternatives, Biggin Hill (BQH/EGKB), fully
used by private operators, and is fairly close to London’s financial hub. This
airport serves as a great option due to its fully dedicated fixed-based operator
(FBO) services and VIP structure. However, the airport closes at night, which
may limit some flight time options.

If operating in the late evening is necessary, airports further from London have
the least restrictions. Despite the distance, a developed network of roads and highways make the way from the airport to the city as fast as it can get. Stansted (STD/EGSS), Luton (LTN/EGGW) and Southend (SEN/EGMC) all operate 24/7, with only minor restrictions during the night. Be aware, however,
of noise restrictions, which are strictly enforced in the UK. These three airports
all offer FBO support, which is a great feature for those looking to land with minimal hassle.

Bottom Line

In the end, operating flights to London is a game of opting for convenience over
flexibility and vice-versa. If you prefer the convenience of arriving closer to
downtown, you will likely be more restricted and pay higher fees. On the other
hand, if you have more flexibility on time, operating from farther airports may be
the best possibility.

Whether you prefer to land at London City, Heathrow or Southend, having a
flight planning operator which personally understands your preferences is key
when traveling to major global cities like London.


Feel free to contact our team here at Flightworx today for advice on flight planning and aviation fuel supply.

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