Universal Aviation UK – London Northolt has successfully worked with the Royal Air Force (RAF) to extend RAF Northolt Airport’s (RAF/EGWU) operating hours by three hours a day, significantly enhancing the flexibility of using central London’s closest airport.
Effective May 17, Northolt’s Monday-Friday operating hours will be extended by three hours daily from 0800-1700 to 0800-2000 local. This better accommodates business travelers needing to get in and out of Central London the same day, as well as crew and passengers needing to connect with commercial flights at London Heathrow Airport, which is just eight miles away.
In addition, the airport will selectively operate on some weekend days to accommodate high-traffic events. Two have already been scheduled - June 13 and July 11 – for the upcoming European Championship Football games.
Universal Aviation UK officially opened its second London-area ground handling location at Northolt in January 2021. Since that time, it has been working closely with the airport's Command to demonstrate the value of extending the operating hours, said Sean Raftery, managing director, Universal Aviation UK & Ireland.
“We expanded our ground handling presence to Northolt earlier this year despite the pandemic and current restrictions because we had a vision of the potential of this airport and the operating flexibility it could provide to our clients traveling to London,” said Raftery. “Being just 35 minutes from Hyde Park, Northolt has always been an ideal airport option for operators with business in Central London. It is also a great option for making crew swaps due to its proximity to Heathrow. The extended hours now make it an even better choice. We're proud to have played a role in expanding the airport's hours back to where they were years ago and even longer in the future.”
In preparation for COVID restrictions easing this summer and the return of high-traffic events, Universal Aviation has also worked with the airport to open from 1200-1900 local on two specific Sundays: June 13 and July 11.
"Extending weekday operating hours was just phase 1," said Raftery. "We're now looking at weekends. We're extremely excited that the airport has agreed to open on two Sundays this summer to support an influx of traffic expected for the European Championship Football."