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Northolt extends operating hours to cover weekends
An extension to operating hours at RAF Northolt will make the airport accessible on weekends for the first time in five years. This should lift the hearts of travellers to London as the capital is just a short drive away.
Universal Aviation regional managing director Sean Raftery.
Read this story in our April 2022 printed issue.

The UK's Royal Air Force will extend operating hours at London RAF Northolt airport to seven days a week starting 1 June, 2022.

Northolt's new weekend hours will be 0800-1500 on Saturdays and 1200-19-00 on Sundays.

“We commend the RAF for making this change, which is a huge win for Northolt and for business aircraft operators travelling to London,” says Sean Raftery, regional managing director at Universal Aviation, the sole FBO provider at the airport. “Northolt is already an extremely popular London airport. Business aircraft operators love Universal's level of service and safety combined with the airport's lack of congestion, privacy, security and, most importantly, its great location. These extended hours are certainly going to make Northolt an even more attractive option for accessing London and everything to do here.”

RAF Northolt is the closest airport to Central London (12.8 miles and a 32 minute drive to Hyde Park versus 39 miles and an hour for Farnborough airport) and the city's popular cultural activities, which commonly draw private flyers. In addition, it's close to many of London's stadiums that host major international sporting events, including Wembley (14 km away), Twickenham (18 km away), Wimbledon (25 km away), Emirates Stadium (27 km away) and Tottenham (30 km away). And it's the closest airport to Heathrow for airline connections or crew swaps.

“Consider if two people leave their hotel in Hyde Park at the same time; the one departing Northolt could be in Paris before the other even arrives at Farnborough airport,” adds Raftery.

This is the second time Northolt has extended hours since Universal took over the operation of the GAT in January 2021. In mid-2021, Universal Aviation UK London Northolt worked closely with the RAF to test expanding the airport's operating hours by three hours a day from Monday to Friday. The success of that extension helped lead to the new weekend accessibility.

“We expanded to Northolt in the heart of the pandemic, when traffic was at a standstill, in anticipation of the eventual recovery and belief that we could unlock its tremendous potential by successfully working to make it more accessible,” says Raftery. “I'm proud to say that we've been able to achieve that in close coordination with the RAF.”

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