Gama Aviation is preparing for the forthcoming 2012 Olympics and the anticipated increase in business aviation traffic with the recruitment of its own dedicated air traffic specialist. Consultant Martin Hill brings 30 years’ experience as an air traffic controller and supervisor at the London Air Traffic Control centre to Gama. He is now in situ at the company’s Farnborough Airport HQ and is advising Gama’s operations and charter teams as they communicate to clients about their air travel to London coinciding with next year’s big event.
Gama’s Director of Client Relations Trevor Jones was participating as a panellist at BGAD 2011’s Practicalities of the Olympics Panel at Cambridge Airport yesterday, 20th September. “We are advising our customers and charter brokers to book their slots early in order to avoid disappointment. For international clients coming to London between 21 July and 15 August we urge them to contact us as soon as possible so we can make the slot applications accordingly. This is because there will be capacity constraints in the airspace over the London area, affecting a total of 40 airports in the South of the UK.”
Slots will be required for all flights arriving or departing the London area during the period from 21st July to 15th August 2012, inclusive.(This covers the Olympic Games only, there are no extra slot restrictions for the Paralympic Games.) Flights will also be subjected to security screening, even at small airports/airfields.
Martin Hill explains: “Slots will be issued on a first come, first served basis and where the requested slot time is not available, the closest match will be offered as an alternative. Airports will be charging a non-refundable fee for the booking of the slots, which will be added to the cost of the flight, and in some cases, requiring payment of landing and handling fees in advance.”
Gama is advising its clients and charter brokers that once a slot is issued, changing the time of the flight will invalidate that original slot. There will be no guarantee that a slot will be available for the revised time, on the day concerned. If the slot is not adhered to the flight will not be able to depart until a new slot time is granted, which could be many hours away.
The slot system is now operational to take bookings at Farnborough Airport, and will become active at other London area airports over the coming months.