August 5, 2011

Uncertainty about travel requirements in the weeks surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games is a concern not just for those flying into London airports in conjunction with the event, but also for companies with planning missions to London that are unrelated to the games.

That’s why some of Europe’s largest charter operators will convene September 20 at the UK’s Cambridge Airport to hold a “Practicalities of the Olympics” panel designed to clear the air about aviation issues related to event.

Confusion in Great Britain over security, aircraft fuel availability, parking and ground transportation for the July 27 to August 12, 2012 Olympics has made planning difficult for aircraft operators, charter companies and charter brokers who must rely on the 30+ designated GA airports that will handle Olympics traffic.

Concerns have also been raised about proposed airspace changes and air traffic restrictions around London. A spokeswoman for Cambridge airport asked, “has this great opportunity [provided by the Olympics] already been missed? Or can it be recovered with persuasion to central government?”   

Already, industry pressure has reduced the timeframe on full airspace restrictions, which will now run from July 14 to August 15, 2012. More limited airspace restrictions will be in effect in London airspace for the 2012 Paralympics Games from August 16 to September 12.

Current plans call for all take off and departure slots to be allocated, with slots at peak times expected to be in heavy demand. The 14 principal business airports in the UK are expected to handle more than 110,000 movements in addition to their normal traffic during the 31-day peak period.

International editor Charles Alcock of Aviation International News will moderate the one-hour summit starting at 11 AM Cambridge time (7 AM U.S. Eastern Time) on September 20.  Admission is free and online registration is available at

The summit will be held in conjunction with the seventh annual UK Business and General Aviation Day at Cambridge Airport the same day.