Kent

Biggin Hill airport's 2012 Olympics expansion rejected

Biggin Hill airport
Image caption A request to extend Biggin Hill's operating hours during the London Olympics was rejected

A request to extend the opening hours of Biggin Hill airport for the London Olympics has been rejected.

Airport owner Bromley Council said it had sufficient capacity for the demand for flights during the 2012 Games.

Biggin Hill Airport Limited (BHAL) wanted to run a number of day-return services.

A public consultation on the request received 1,741 responses, of which 1,046 were against the increased operating hours.

Operating hours

Flights take off from, and land at, Biggin Hill airport between 07:30 BST and 21:00 BST on weekdays, with slightly shorter operating hours over the weekend.

BHAL wanted to temporarily extend the airport's weekday operating hours to 06:30 BST to 22:00 BST and increase its opening hours by two hours on Satudays and three hours on Sundays.

Opponents of the increase included concerns of noise pollution, traffic conjestion and safety.

'Not necessary'

Leader of Bromley Council, Stephen Carr, said it was not just the concerns of people living under the flight paths that influenced the council's decision.

Mr Carr said: "Biggin Hill has a significant spare capacity to deal with the flights over the Olympic period.

"They [BHAL] were looking to stretch beyond the terms and conditions of the lease which the Executive weren't convinced were necessary."

Jenny Munro, Managing Director of BHAL, said: "We already have enquiries from operators to run a daily flight which I'm now going to have to turn down."

She added: "It is frustrating because it's a cultuire of not enabling business success and in this day and age we need every bit of encouragement for business."

Ms Munro said BHAL will not be appealing against the decision to turn down BHAL's request.

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