Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:56 pm
There is a monthly meeting held at the airport for all users and tenants (the February meeting was today), chaired by Will Curtis (MD) with a number of the airport managers, covering ATC, security, property and safety. The representation from private pilots is light, typically half a dozen or so, today less than that.
Personally I feel that the airport has been upfront about the direction its going in, it might not be what we want to hear, but at the end of the day it needs to be paid for and GA doesn't cover the bills. Its not going to be a budget airport and GA will continued to be welcome for those that are prepared to pay for the services offered.
I fly from both a farm strip and Biggin Hill (since 2001) and there are advantages to both. For example, our aeroplane at the farm strip was recently broken into resulting in us being about £1,000 out of pocket (we got off lightly compared with others), whereas at Biggin Hill we take for granted the 24-hour security. With a mile of tarmac, fire service, ATC, border force, ILS, lighting, its actually good value. That said, I don't particularly enjoy having to orbit 5-6 times downwind because of jet traffic on a 10 mile final, but that tends to only happen when its busy at weekends. The PPR system works well enough, typically a response comes back in 5 minutes, its just a case of remembering to do it!
The issues with controller workload, TCAS alerts, coordination with London, the use of advanced ATM, split frequencies (ground vs tower or approach vs tower) have been explained and discussed at the meetings in some detail.
So I'd strongly encourage those pilots based at Biggin that would like to help shape and influence the future to join the meetings (there is even a buffet lunch provided), although I appreciate that 12:30 on Tuesdays isn't the easiest for people with day jobs.