Sept. 6, 2013

Two well-established business aviation airports – one on either side of the Atlantic – recently announced a unique “sister airport” relationship, which both expect will be beneficial to their customers and communities.

New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport (TEB), and London’s Biggin Hill Airport (EGKB) last month signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that “provides the platform for international cooperation and customer service,” according to a Biggin Hill Airport statement. The MOU encourages mutual assistance and participation by both parties, with a focus on communication, security and safety.

“This new sister agreement…will link two world cities, assist trade and innovation, and it will build on the experience learned at Teterboro that can be implemented in London,” said Andrew Walters, chairman of Biggin Hill Airport. The MOU is “just the beginning of the relationship,” according to Biggin Hill business development manager Robert Walters, who expects the agreement to help demonstrate to the London and British authorities what is being done in the greater New York region to promote business aviation access to the area.

Teterboro, which is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, supports more than 15,500 jobs. Biggin Hill’s Robert Walters hopes that his airport, which features three FBOs and a wide variety of on-airport aviation services, can learn from and work with Teterboro to create an ever-higher standard of service, which could include the sharing of customers’ preferences and maximizing service opportunities. “In time, the ultimate outcome is we hope that NBAA Members and other business aircraft operators will see a London airport, supported by its government, that has the infrastructure that they would expect and is as good as they are used to in the U.S.,” he said.

At the signing of the MOU on Aug. 13, Ralph Tragale, the Port Authority’s assistant director of aviation, public affairs, said, “Through this partnership, we’ll work together to exchange ideas so that we can play an even greater role in our respective regions…create more jobs…[and] be better neighbors.”

NBAA, along with the European Business Aviation Association, previously recognized the growing importance of Biggin Hill Airport. In 2011, the two associations presented former Biggin Hill Airport Director Peter Lonergan with the prestigious European Business Aviation Award. The long-time airport director was credited for turning the facility – once scheduled for closure – into a thriving airport with a new runway, new hangars and a larger airport staff.