Universal Aviation UK's London Northolt airport facility has worked with the Royal Air Force to extend RAF Northolt airport’s operating hours by three hours a day, significantly enhancing the flexibility of using central London’s closest airport.
Effective 17 May, Northolt’s Monday to Friday operating hours will be extended by three hours daily from 08:00-17:00 to 08:00-20:00 local time. This better accommodates business travellers needing to get in and out of central London the same day, as well as crew and passengers looking to connect with commercial flights at London Heathrow airport, which is just eight miles away.
In addition, the airport will selectively operate on some weekend days to accommodate high-traffic events. Two have already been scheduled – 13 June and 11 July – for the upcoming UEFA European Football Championship games.
Universal Aviation UK officially opened its second London-area ground handling location at Northolt in January 2021. Since that time, it has been working closely with the airport's command to demonstrate the value of extending the operating hours, says Sean Raftery, MD for Universal Aviation UK & Ireland. “We expanded our ground handling presence to Northolt earlier this year despite the pandemic and current restrictions because we had a vision of the potential of this airport and the operating flexibility it could provide to our clients traveling to London,” Raftery comments. “Being just 35 minutes from Hyde Park, Northolt has always been an ideal airport option for operators with business in central London. It is also a great option for making crew swaps due to its proximity to Heathrow. The extended hours now make it an even better choice. We're proud to have played a role in expanding the airport's hours back to where they were years ago and even longer in the future.”
In preparation for COVID restrictions easing this summer and the return of high-traffic events, Universal Aviation has also worked with the airport to open from 12:00-19:00 local time on 13 June and 11 July. “Extending weekday operating hours was just phase one,” Raftery continues. “We're now looking at weekends. We're extremely excited that the airport has agreed to open on two Sundays this summer to support an influx of traffic expected for the European Football Championship.”