‘Chain-gang’ of Kent and south east London mayors descend on Biggin Hill for tour of facilities as airport continues 100th birthday celebrations

PUBLISHED: 12:19 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:19 04 April 2017

Mayors from Kent and south east London visit Biggin Hill Airport. Photo: Mike Rivett

Mayors from Kent and south east London visit Biggin Hill Airport. Photo: Mike Rivett

Mike Rivett-Fotomotion

Managing director Will Curtis also briefed the mayors on developments on the site including plans for a 50-bed hotel announced last month

More than a dozen mayors from across Kent, south east London and beyond descended on Biggin Hill last week for a tour of the airport as it continued its 100th birthday celebrations.

The 18-strong mayoral party, initiated by Bromley mayor Ian Payne, was given a special update briefing by airport managing director Will Curtis on developments at the airport.

These included the extension of operating hours due for implementation this spring, plans for a 50-bed hotel announced last month, and the establishment of a sophisticated state-of-the-art noise monitoring scheme with strict rules for aircraft operators.

Mayors also received a presentation by Bethany Russell, external affairs coordinator, about the work of LoCATE, the London Centre for Aviation Technology & Enterprise.

Mayors from Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Broadstairs, Royal Greenwich, Havering, Hillingdon, Royal Kensington & Chelsea, Royal Kingston, Maidstone, Margate, Richmond, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Southwark, Sutton, Tenterden and Tonbridge & Malling were present for this unique occasion.

During the tour of aerospace facilities, the mayors saw the new Bombardier Business Aircraft heavy maintenance unit, the hangar base of Zenith Aviation and helicopter specialists Castle Air.

The group visited the Heritage Hangar and were able to see at close quarters a number of Supermarine Spitfires under restoration or maintenance.

After lunch at the passenger terminal, the group went on to visit the St George’s Remembrance Chapel where they were briefed on plans, soon to mature, to establish a heritage museum on the site.

Marketing manager Andy Patsalides said it was a great privilege for the airport to be visited by such a strong ‘chain-gang’ of mayors - the term now accepted as an official description for a collective of chain-wearing civic officials bearing the mayoral title.

“Cllr Payne was well rewarded by the response of his mayoral colleagues to his invitation to visit the airport,” he said.

“There was a strong sense of interest and appreciation for the steady development by the airport company and their stakeholders that continues to make London Biggin Hill a premier gateway to London and the City for international business aviation.”

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