A serious plea for your help…….


The London Borough of Bromley Councillors will be meeting on 25th March at the Civic Centre in Bromley at 7pm to discuss the results of the recent Council Yes/No Consultation. This Consultation revealed results that virtually mirrored those obtained by the airport previously, and the Independent poll carried out by Populus, in spite of a concerted campaign of lies and miss-information from BRAAD and the “No” camp. 31,500 peopke were in favour of the proposals with a total number of votes cast 41,711 – a clear majority in favour of 75.52%!

 (for those who are interested the full consultation report (all 213 pages), with indexes, and maps, can be seen here: )

(please ignore the Council comment suggesting that piston engines aircraft will be prevented from using the early and late hours – that is not from the airport and Biggin do not agree with that as any aircraft, subject to agreeing to paying the special surcharge, will of course be accepted)

Many Councillors have indicated that they will not decide whether to vote Yes or No to the proposals until the day of the vote, and that they are not bound to take any notice of the actual public “vote”. It is clear that the way they vote will be influenced by the mood displayed by those there on the evening.

So – with BRAAD recognising that, and mobilising their supporters to be there on the night, it is really imperative we also attend in force to demonstrate the strength of feeling shown in the consultation is really there.

PLEASE therefore come to the meeting to show your support for the proposals – I really cannot express how serious this is – we have but one chance to take control of OUR airport’s future – are we actually prepared, after all our hard work, to allow the NIMBY’s in the No campaign to dictate how our future jobs pan out and businesses run. It really is worth just a couple of hours of your life to protect your future!

As BRAAD’s own campaign says (using the first world war Kitchener poster) – YOUR AIRPORT NEEDS YOU – don’t let us all down!  Join us at the Council meeting at 7pm on 25th March at the Civic Centre, Bromley.

Please let me know your intention to come and show your support – email

If enough people respond, it may even be possible to help with some transport. Please don’t let us down – this really is the Last Chance Saloon!!


John Willis

Biggin Hill Reunited

The Chapel at Biggin Hill

RAF Biggin Hill


The RAF base at Biggin Hill, south-east of London, played a central part in the Battle of Britain. Part of 11 Group, it was responsible for protecting the south-east of England and guarding the approaches to the capital.
An exterior view of St George’s, the chapel at RAF Biggin Hill. A Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane stand guard outside. (IWM RAF-T 6209

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Breaking News: Biggin HIll AIrport it seems have agreed to make up the shortfall to preserve the St George’s Chapel at Biggen Hill

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What an insult to The Few: MoD abandons iconic memorial dedicated to Battle of Britain aces… to save a paltry £50,000

  • MoD chiefs plan to close down St George’s Chapel at Biggen Hill, Kent
  • The former RAF station was used during the Battle of Britain to repel Nazis
  • The chapel is expected to close in 2016 unless it can find a benefactor 
  • Minister Anna Soubry said it was an ‘inappropriate use of resources’

With its magnificent stained-glass windows, it stands as a fitting memorial to the Battle of Britain pilots who gave their lives to save the nation from Nazi invasion.

But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the ornately furnished chapel Sir Winston Churchill insisted should remain a ‘permanent’ shrine to the glorious Few is to be closed down and boarded up.

Defying the wartime leader’s express wishes, defence chiefs have decreed that the £50,000- a-year cost of running St George’s Chapel of Remembrance is an ‘inappropriate’ use of resources.

St George's Chapel, pictured,  is at the former RAF station at Biggin Hill in Kent, is threatened with closure

St George’s Chapel, pictured,  is at the former RAF station at Biggin Hill in Kent, is threatened with closure

The names of the 544 men who died during the Battle of Britain are inscribed inside the chapel, pictured

The decision was described last night as ‘a sickening insult’ to the memory of the 544 airmen killed in the pivotal battle, arguably the most important ever fought by Britain.

St George’s stands on the site of the former RAF station at Biggin Hill, Kent, from where Spitfire and Hurricane pilots took off in 1940 to repel Hitler’s Luftwaffe.

Inside, the names of those who died in the battle are inscribed on a roll of honour. It is these men and others who survived who inspired one of Churchill most famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’

The chapel is expected to attract 25,000 visitors this year, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, but is scheduled to close in 2016 unless a benefactor can be found.

It is expected that 25,000 people will visit the chapel this year on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Defence Minister Anna Soubry said it ‘no longer provides support to an operational RAF station and as the number of serving RAF personnel using the chapel is very low, continued support to the chapel would be an inappropriate use of defence resources. My officials… have met with the local chaplaincy council to discuss the closure of the site’.

Yet critics of the decision argue that thousands of people visit the chapel each year. Along with regular weekly services, commemorative services are held on Battle of Britain Sunday and Remembrance Sunday.

continued support to the chapel would be an inappropriate use of defence resources
Defence Minister Anna Soubry

More than 5,500 people have signed a petition on a Government website against the closure of St George’s.

Sir Winston took a personal interest in the fundraising drive that led to the chapel being built, and wrote to those who made donations, making clear his intention that St George’s should stand as a ‘permanent shrine of remembrance’ to those who gave their lives, adding: ‘We live to hold their reward inviolate and unfading.’

Battle of Britain veteran Tom Neill, 94, described the closure as ‘shameful’ and ‘a sickening insult to those who flew and lost their lives’.

Mr Neill, a retired Wing Commander, said: ‘The chapel is a priceless heirloom and it is being got rid of by sleight of hand. For these politicians and civil servants, this is just a stroke of a pen for them.

‘They should remember the significance of the Battle of Britain. We show such contempt for the sacrifice of our veterans and our history.’


An online petition has been set up to urge the Ministry of Defence not to abandon its support of the chapel, which has already attracted more than 6,300 supporters. Add your voice here.

St George’s was built to replace a military chapel which was destroyed by fire in 1946. It was previously threatened in 1989 when the MoD closed Biggin Hill as an operational base, but was granted a reprieve because of its ‘historical importance’.

Oak panels either side of the altar carry the names of hundreds of aircrew who died during the war and badges of 52 RAF squadrons which served at Biggin Hill.

The wooden floor is made from propeller blades from wartime aircraft, while some windows are dedicated to individual pilots who were based at the site. Chapel custodian Laurie Chester said: ‘There is so much history here. Given the sacrifices made in the war, I’ve considered it a privilege to look after the place.’

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘In order to ensure that the defence budget is spent in the most appropriate way the MOD will look to relinquish ownership of St George’s Chapel by March 2016. However, given its importance, we are exploring options that will ensure the heritage of the chapel is preserved.’

Some of the stained glass windows show the role played by some of those who supported the air crew

Some of the stained glass windows show the role played by those who supported the aircrew during the war

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The ‘Red Arrows’ performing at Biggin Hill Airport in June 2015 Photo credit: Mike Rivett

Admission tickets for the 2016 Festival of Flight at Biggin Hill Airport on Saturday 11th June go on sale from this week.   Application online to provides full details and also provides answers to frequently-asked questions.

The heritage of Biggin Hill Airport is synonymous with top class flying displays and matching high caliber ground events and entertainment.   As successor to the International Air Fair series, the Festival of Flight is now well established in the summer calendar as a local community event.  Once again, the RAF Aerobatic Team ‘The Red Arrows’ will top the bill with one of their dazzling displays and there will be opportunities to meet the pilots.

Another crowd favourite is the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that will feature the Avro Lancaster bomber supported by the immortal Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.  Individually and together, the trio will echo the outstanding contribution made by each aircraft during the years of WWll.

The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Fighter collection will be presenting one of their outstanding coordinated displays, flown by the UK’s leading display pilots.

Heritage aircraft on show in the air and in the static park include the Boeing B17 ‘Sally B’, the newly restored Bristol Blenheim, a P51 Mustang and the RN Historic Flight’s famous Swordfish, affectionately known as the ‘Stringbag’ by wartime aircrew.

The Breitling Wing Walkers Team will be stunning spectators with their sequence of elaborate manoeuvres while the glamorous lady wing-walkers go through their aerial dance routines and wave to the crowds.

Helicopters will be well represented by the Army Air Corp’s sinister-looking Apache attack machine and from yesteryear the now historic Westland Wasp flown originally by FAA pilots from the decks of smaller ships in an anti-submarine role.  The weapons rack would provide for two homing torpedoes.

A selection of large radio-controlled model aircraft will fly in the afternoon display.  Watch carefully – it is often difficult to distinguish them from the full scale versions.

On the ground, a Fun Fair will provide engaging activities for children.  This year, we are creating a 1960’s village with themed items such as Thunderbirds 3, Dr Who, Batmobile and vintage trade stands including a 1960’s cinema.

The ground event also embraces a huge Craft Fair, steam engines, static aircraft and the finale in the arena of the Roundel Motor Rally with classic cars, an event that started from the historic Brooklands Museum early in the day.

Admission tickets for the Festival are £19.50 per adult. Children of 15 and under are admitted FOC if accompanied by an adult, maximum two children per adult.

On 11th June, gates open at 9am.  Flying programme commences at 1pm.

How to buy tickets online:  go to website and follow instructions.

Telephone Information line (listen only) – 01959 578571

Follow on Facebook: LBHAcommunity and Twitter: @LBHAcommunity

Issued by Biggin Hill Airport Ltd –

Media contact is Simon Ames – Head of Communications – M:  07785 745857

Spitfire Experiences

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain last year, local experience days business teamed up with Biggin Hill based aviation historian Robin Brooks to produce a video piece on the iconic Supermarine Spitfire.

Presented by Brooks – the author of Kent and the Battle of Britain – the 5 minute production details the aircrafts initial inception from creator RJ Mitchell, its production at Castle Bromwich, and the role it played in the Battle of Britain. Specifically it highlights the significance the aircraft had for the defence of Biggin Hill Airport and the protection it offered the community that surrounds it. Of particular focus is the Spitfire’s head to head battle with the German Messerschmitt 109s, and the superior engineering that gave the RAF key advantages over the Luftwaffe. As Brooks eloquently puts, the battle between the two fighter planes was ‘quite possibly the Spitfires finest hour’.

After delving into the aircrafts rich history, the narrative begins to focus on the return of the Spitfire to the skies in more recent times, and also its rise in popularity. This includes the hard work and dedication of restoration enthusiasts based in, among other places, Biggin Hill – who have brought back to life both one and two seat Spitfires.

Interviewed in the film is two seater Spitfire Pilot Don Signournay, who explains that the credit for this belongs to ‘the enthusiast that have kept these planes flying, and in the air where they should really be’. The success in restoring these historic planes, and the change in the Civil Aviation Authority regulations, has allowed the public to experience the aircraft both in its natural habitat in the air and in the form of hangar tours. Aviation aficionado Andrew Porter, whose spitfire experience features in the film, says of his flight in the aircraft: ‘I am choked up…it’s amazing to think they flew off to war, and some of them didn’t come back.’

The video is available for viewing using the below link.

Come Fly With Us!

Concert at Valence School, Westerham.

Saturday, 8th July 2016 at 6:30pm
(gates open at 5:30pm)

This Concert has been organised by the Friends of Valence School (Registered Charity No 275686). We are very grateful to the Eynsford Concert Band for support us and to the Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill, for providing the Spitfire Display (a very exciting addition to the evening).

Valence School is a Kent Local Authority Special School for students aged 4 – 19 with physical disabilities or complex medical needs. Students attend on both a day and boarding basis.

The School’s address is Valence School, Westerham Road (main A25), Westerham, Kent TN16 1QN. We are situated between Brasted and Westerham and have a shared entrance with Westerham Golf Course. Our grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown and are a lovely setting for such a Concert.

All monies raised will be used by the Friends of Valence School to provide extra equipment for the students and additional social opportunities for them.

We do hope that you will be able to support us by attending this prestigious event and would be grateful if you could pass details on to any of your friends who might be interested. There will be a BBQ, Bar and Refreshments on the night but please feel free to bring your own picnic.

Tickets can be bought or reserved either via the Friends of Valence Website or by telephoning the School 01959 562156 / 567847.

Tickets will also be available on the Gate on the evening. Please note that we are only able to take cash payments on the day.
Thank you.

Click Here to view PDF  -> Concert Flyer – or view the flyer below

Concert Flyer


Local author’s new Biggin Hill book

By Luke King in Local People

A LOCAL author’s new book on RAF Biggin Hill is the result of dedicated research conducted over the past five years.

RAF Biggin Hill (p

Peter Osborne, pictured, has released ‘RAF Biggin Hill – The Other Side of the Bump’ which runs to 352 pages and contains more than 200 previously unpublished or rarely seen pictures and illustrations.

Peter said: “Biggin Hill and the Battle of Britain is the link that everyone makes, and quite rightly so but, beginning in the First World War and running right through to World War Two, is a fascinating story of research and experimentation at Biggin Hill.

“Without that work by the all but forgotten engineers and scientists on the War Office secret site in South Camp, the result of the Battle of Britain might have been quite different.”

He added: “Radio communications, interception tactics and the detection of enemy raiders, especially at night, owed everything to the Air Defence Experimental Establishment at Biggin Hill.”

The book is available in hardback and paperback and can be bought locally at The Spitfire Café or Occasions in Biggin Hill. Alternatively, combine a visit to St George’s RAF Memorial Chapel on Main Road, where the book is on sale with all royalties donated to support the Chapel.

Peter will be at the Chapel on Saturday, December 12 to sign copies.

Often known as the ‘Most Famous Fighter Station’ in the World’, Biggin Hill has a rich and virtually unknown history behind the scenes. With the Wireless Testing Park established at Biggin Hill in 1917 the RAF Wireless Experimental Establishment was consolidated there on the formation of the RAF in 1918. Developmental work continued on wireless telephony and Radio Direction Finding (RDF) – resulting, among many other things, in the first air to air telephony and a radio guided flight to Paris above cloud cover. With the first hint of RADAR not appearing until 1935, the acoustic detection of aircraft was the only possible means by which the new threat of the aircraft could be met. The ‘Biggin Hill System’ of acoustic discs was expanded to a giant network on the south coast and with it developed a command and control system which, some years later, would form the core of Dowding’s defence. In 1936 the ‘Biggin Hill Experiments’ created the model by which the RAF so effectively intercepted the Luftwaffe in 1940. Whilst at the Air Defence Experimental Establishment (ADEE) an accurate means by which searchlights and anti-aircraft guns could be brought to bear on enemy aircraft, particularly during the Blitz, came to fruition. More than just a Fighter Station, for the first time, the full extent of RAF Biggin Hill’s contribution to Allied campaigns can finally be revealed.


ISBN: 9781872836126
Binding: Paperback
Dimentions: 234mm x 156mm
Pages: 352
Photos/Illus: 227 previously unpublished or rarely seen photographs, diagrams & illustrations

Biggin Hill Airfield Beyond the Bump 1

“Biggin Hill Airport Beyond the Bump 1”

C14-P6 C5-P15 Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070] bbb238255 (1)

The link to book one.

Available from @£9.95 plus P&P – 247 PAGES 182 images.

Also available on Kindle

Published 2014 by Pilots Pals

Part one of the unwritten story of what happened at R.A.F. Biggin Hill during its final days as an operational fighter station, the preceding years back to the early 50’s and the military era.

This historic Battle of Britain fighter station survived where many others were decommissioned to make room for redevelopment. The closure of London’s Croydon Airport gave birth to a new generation of both private and commercial pilots on this hallowed ground and created a unique training and social environment that would flourish for many years. This publication seeks to record some of the people and their aircraft that facilitated this transaction together with a celebration of the success of one individual who turned his dreams into reality. Part two completes the story of one aviation enthusiast and private pilot.

Joseph J Merchant.
ISBN 978-0-9929626-0-9

Biggin Hill Memorial Museum

—- Original Message —-
Subject: Biggin Hill Memorial Museum
Sent: 12 Feb 2016 11:49
From: Hilary Ryder <>
To: Chris Mulinder <>

Dear Keston ResidentWe have been asked by Rachael David, Project Support Officer on the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum project, to assist her in carrying out some research into what local residents would want from the museum.  Bromley has devised a survey for residents to complete and we have posted the link on the KVRA website and on our Keston Village facebook page. Rachael would be very grateful, if as many people as possible could complete the survey by Friday 19 February 2016.

We have also received the two attached consultation letters from Bromley Planning these are seeking input from residents by 22nd & 23rd March.

Best Regards
Hilary Ryder

Biggin Hill Airport longer hours

Bromley Council backs Biggin Hill Airport longer hours – as it happened


  • – Special full council meeting at 7pm in the Civic Centre’s Great Hall where Bromley councillors will debate whether to allow Biggin Hill Airport longer operating hours
  • – Bromley Council’s executive will make the final decision immediately after the debate, also in the Great Hall
Most Recent

Coun Carr, Coun Morgan, Coun Fortune and Coun Arthur voted in favour.

Coun Lymer, Coun Evans and Coun Smith voted against.

That concludes tonight’s live blog but we’ll be bringing you all the reaction on the council’s decision to back the airport’s bid for longer hours tomorrow.

To share your thoughts email, call07787273806 or tweet @HattyCollier.


News Shopper:

Bromley Council’s executive have voted 4-3 in favour of Biggin Hill Airport’s longer hours.


It’s now four hours since the full council meeting began and it’s not clear how close the executive are to making the final decision.


Coun Morgan has said the longer hours will attract big name businesses to the airport, but this won’t necessarily increase the number of flights.


Coun Graham Arthur on the airport’s expansion and its impact on the environment: “It’s all very well to be clean and green but I would also like to flourish.”


The executive is discussing the “reasonableness” of Biggin Hill Airport and the council during lease negotiations.

Coun Carr said: “We are a serious council.

“Biggin Hill Airport have been reasonable in dealing with the conditions that we have set out.”

He said that so far, he does not see that either party has been unreasonable during any negotiations that have taken place.


Coun Carr is discussing the concerns raised over the alleged manipulation of the council’s public consultation results.

He said the consultation results have been “muddied”, and that he is satisfied the results were not manipulated, despite anomalies.


The executive is discussing fines for the airport if an aircraft landed outside the agreed hours.

Coun Carr has just said: “I don’t want to give the impression that that we are soft on monitoring enforcement, which I am not.”

Several people in the public gallery jeered in disapproval at this comment.

Coun Carr added that the council has to recognise that aircraft should be able to land in an emergency.


News Shopper:

Coun Kate Lymer, who voted against extended hours for the airport at a meeting in March, has said she believes the proposals should be refused.

She said: “This level of noise at 6.30 in the morning and 11pm at night is incredibly disruptive, particularly in summer when families are trying to sleep with their windows open.”


Bromley Council’s executive is made up of:

– Leader Coun Stephen Carr (Bromley Common and Keston)

– Coun Peter Fortune (Hayes and Coney Hall)

– Coun Robert Evans (Farnborough and Crofton)

– Coun Colin Smith (Bickley)

– Coun Peter Morgan (Plaistow and Sundridge)

– Coun Kate Lymer (Bickley)

– Coun Graham Arthur (Hayes and Coney Hall)


The executive meeting is underway.


There’s a short break before the executive’s meeting, when a final decision will be made.


Twenty-nine councillors have voted in favour of the motion recommending the council grants Biggin Hill Airport’s extended hours and an amendment to its lease.

Nineteen councillors voted against and 10 abstained, meaning the motion has been passed.


News Shopper:

Summing up, Coun Nicholas Bennett said the motion would be “good for Biggin Hill, good for Bromley and good for Britain.”

Councillors will now vote on the motion.


News Shopper:

Coun Simon Fawthrop, who represents Petts Wood and Knoll and has always been vocal about his opposition to extended hours at the airport, has urged councillors to vote against the motion.

He said: “You can’t make one person’s quality of life better by making someone else’s quality of life worse.”

Coun Tony Owen, who represents Petts Wood and Knoll, has also encouraged councillors to reject the motion.

Here’s a photo from Coun Michael Rutherford showing how packed tonight’s meeting really is.

To recap some key points on what’s happened so far this evening:

– The meeting heard several questions put to Coun Morgan and Coun Carr from members of the public

– Orpington MP Jo Johnson – who asked a question on behalf of himself and Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill – repeated concerns raised by community groups that the council’s public consultation into plans for extended operating hours at the airport was manipulated

– Coun Benington and Coun Bennett put forward a motion recommending the council grant Biggin Hill Airport’s extended hours and an amendment to its lease

– Councillors began to debate the motion

– Several councillors have put forward strong arguments against the motion including Coun Evans, Coun Stevens and Coun Michael

– Bromley borough’s Labour councillors are supporting the extension of the hours citing the employment opportunities and income the airport’s expansion could generate for the borough


We’re two hours in and there’s still quite a few councillors left to speak in the debate ahead of the executive’s final decision, which will also take place in the Great Hall at Bromley Civic Centre.


Coun Alexa Michael, who represents Bromley Common and Keston, has urged councillors to reject the motion, which she said will be “all pain and no gain for residents”.


Labour’s Coun Vanessa Allen, who represents Clock House ward, has spoken in support of the airport’s expansion.

She said the airport should be “a flagship enterprise” for the borough of Bromley, which could generate income in many ways.

Coun Allen also highlighted the employment opportunities the airport has created for the borough and said she believes the airport’s proposed aviation college will bring long term benefits for young people.


News Shopper:

Coun Angela Wilkins, who represents Crystal Palace and is leader of the Labour group, has said they will continue to support the airport’s bid to extend its operating hours and welcomes the proposed new runway approaches.


News Shopper:

Coun Robert Evans, who also represents Farnborough and Crofton and sits on the council’s executive, has described the increase in operating hours as “too high a price to pay”.

He has urged councillors to vote against.


Coun Tim Stevens, who represents Farnborough and Crofton ward, has just spoken – he voted against the extended hours when he was still on the executive back in March.

He has confirmed he will be voting against them again.

Reiterating concerns about the manipulation of the council’s public consulation results, Coun Stevens said: “We have now become aware that the council’s Biggin Hill surveys are frankly marginally questionable and should be ignored.”

He has urged all councillors to vote against the proposals.

Coun Stevens also said he believes the airport has “massive plans” to increase its business flights.


Coun Nicholas Bennett, who represents West Wickham ward, and Coun Julian Benington, who represents Biggin Hill ward, have proposed a motion recommending the council approves the hours and an amendment of the airport’s lease.

Councillors will now begin to debate.


Coun Carr has just commended members of community group Flightpath Watch and others, who are opposed to the airport’s plans, for remaining polite and courteous.

He said he hoped that the group and other members of the public would continue to do this throughout the meeting tonight.

One woman, who is sat in the public gallery, shouted: “Not me.”


Mr Johnson has just reiterated concerns raised by community groups that the council’s public consultation into plans for extended operating hours at the airport was manipulated.

The authority said its consultation showed a large percentage of residents were in favour of longer hours.

In response to this, Coun Morgan has agreed that some of the results looked “a little odd” and that “public consultations are only as good as the questions asked”.

News Shopper will be asking the council for an official response to claims the results of the consultation have been manipulated.


Orpington MP, Jo Johnson is asking Coun Morgan – on behalf of himself and Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst – what assurances the council will provide that the interest of residents living beneath the flight path will be properly prioritised within the decision making process.


Hugh Bunce is asking Coun Morgan if the council will acknowledge that preserved sleep for the borough’s residents is “a basic human right” and that this needs to be protected by retaining the hours in the current lease.

Mr Bunce is getting a huge round of applause.


Questions from the public still ongoing.


It is extremely rowdy in here – people opposed to the airport’s bid are making A LOT of noise.


In response to another question, Coun Morgan has said the council has been “extremely thorough” in assessing the airport’s application.

Members of the public are booing and jeering at this response.

Coun Morgan said: “We have had the best consultants and best recommendations when it comes to this application.”

More boos and jeers from some members of the public.


Another member of the public David Calver has asked Councillor Peter Morgan if he can be sure that increased operating hours at the airport will not affect the long term security of this country.

Lots of members of the public are laughing at Mr Calver’s question.

News Shopper:

Portfolio Holder for Renewal and Recreation, Coun Peter Morgan

Coun Morgan has replied saying the longer hours will not impact on national security.


Bethany Russel, from Biggin Hill, is asking council leader Stephen Carr if he is aware that there are overseas aircraft service companies considering investing at Biggin Hill Airport if the operating hours are approved.

Coun Carr replies: “I do not have first hand knowledge although I have been informed that this is the case by the airport management.”


Questions from the public have now begun.


The Great Hall is packed with members of the public – probably the busiest council meeting I’ve seen.


Seems to be increased security for tonight’s meeting as I spotted a police officer on the door on my way in.


It’s Hatty here, bringing you live updates from a full Bromley Council meeting where councillors will debate Biggin Hill Airport’s bid to extend its operating hours.

The council’s executive will make a final decision on the bid, immediately after the full meeting. This will also take place in the Great Hall.


News Shopper reporter Hatty Collier will be back at 7pm with live updates from the full council meeting.


And here’s a table of the council’s public consultation responses by ward.

News Shopper:


Public consultation

Bromley Council claims some 31,500 people, out of 41,711 who responded to its largest ever public consultation, supported the airport’s proposals.

The council’s consultation, which ran from January to March, gave residents a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ choice on whether they support the plans.

The results supported the airport’s own consultation findings in October last year and an independent opinion poll carried out by the Populus market research agency.

Here’s a map of the council’s consultation responses by ward.

News Shopper:


Residents’ concerns

Some residents, including community group Flightpath Watch, are concerned the extended hours and flight path changes will bring bigger business jets and noisier aircraft to the borough.

Last week a spokesperson for the group told News Shopper: “Any new GPS route is a requirement for a commercial airport, not a benefit for the residents.

“It will bring more noisy business jets and larger aircraft to the borough.

“Our greatest concern is that noise at unsocial hours is detrimental to the well being of residents and their productivity at work or school.

“Flight paths are important, but are a secondary consideration to the hours.”

Other people living in the borough fear allowing the airport to expand will eventually lead to commercial and holiday flights.

But airport managing director, Will Curtis, insists this is not the case and that extending the hours will actually prevent this from happening.

News Shopper:

Biggin Hill Airport managing director Will Curtis

In an open letter to residents published last month, he said: “You can take it from me that we don’t want scheduled or holiday airlines at Biggin Hill Airport, we don’t need new runways and we don’t want to expand beyond our existing airport boundary.

“I live in Biggin Hill, and I don’t want to see a mini-Luton type airport on my doorstep and I know that you do not want that either.”


Flight path changes

Last week, the airport also revealed possible changes to its flight paths as a new consultation got underway.

All flights currently approach from the north-east over Bromley borough using a GPS guidance system.

The airport claims the new system would mean around 30 to 35 per cent of current flights would not, in future, follow that route and instead “stay higher, making a direct and quieter approach from the south west”.


The current operating hours vs the proposed operating hours

The current operating hours are from 6.30am to 10pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 8pm on weekends and public holidays.

The proposed extended hours are 6.30am to 11pm from Monday to Friday and 8am to 10pm on weekends and public holidays.

No more than eight flights would depart or land in the first half an hour of the day from Monday to Friday, under the plans.

No more than eight flights would depart or land in the last hour of the day.

The cap of eight take off or landings at the beginning of the day is subject to a noise envelope equivalent to an annualised average of no more than two movements by an aircraft not noisier than a LEAR 35 Business Jet.

The cap of eight take off or landings at the end of the day is subject to a noise envelope equivalent to an annualised average of no more than three movements by an aircraft not noisier than a LEAR 35 Business Jet.

No flight training would take place before 9am and after 5pm at weekends as part of the airport’s Noise Action Plan.


Welcome to News Shopper’s live blog of Bromley Council’s final decision tonight on whether to back Biggin Hill Airport’s plans to extend its operating hours.

Councillors will debate the proposals during a full council meeting before a final decision is made by the executive immediately afterwards from 7pm, in the Great Hall at Bromley Civic Centre.

Biggin Hill Airport has bold development plans to vary its operating hours, create 2,300 jobs, open an aviation college and cut its noise footprint in half.

The local authority has published the full report into the business airport’s plans, which will be considered at tonight’s meeting.

You can read the full report here.

The council’s executive made a preliminary decision to back the airport’s plans at a meeting in March with four votes in favour to two against.

Biggin Hill Community Site