If you want the most convenient travel to and from the London Olympics next summer, chartering a business jet is the natural choice – but early booking will be essential.
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of London Executive Aviation (LEA), one of Europe’s largest executive aircraft charter operators, says heavy demand for airline seats and airspace restrictions surrounding the Olympic Park will limit last-minute travel decisions.
Margetson-Rushmore says: “From July 13 to September 12 2012, there will be an inner prohibited airspace zone and an outer restricted zone, about 60 nautical miles across, centred on the Olympic Park. Business jet passengers, who ordinarily expect to be able to charter a flight at very short notice, should be warned that such flexibility may not be possible in these exceptional circumstances. If customers are serious about chartering next summer, we are urging them to book early to ensure an aircraft is available and that there is time to have the flight approved.”
Only aircraft operating commercial services and meeting strict security requirements, such as LEA’s diverse charter fleet of 25 jets, will normally be permitted to fly in the prohibited zone. Even aircraft operating in the wider restricted zone will need to satisfy certain requirements to ensure clear identification and monitoring by air traffic control.
Margetson-Rushmore continues: “For an operator like LEA, we must understand the consequences of the airspace restrictions and then communicate those consequences to customers. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), air traffic control provider NATS, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Department for Transport (DfT) are among the many bodies with whom we will be liaising to ensure we operate safely and efficiently within the restrictions.”
LEA operates seven bases around London, so Margetson-Rushmore says: “Despite the challenges, if somebody suddenly needs to travel to – or especially from – the Games, LEA will be able to offer a far better and faster option than a fully-booked scheduled airline or a business jet operator based in mainland Europe.”