Olympics opening ceremony surge helps sets new record for Stansted Airport

A LAST minute surge of world leaders, government officials, VIPs and celebrities arriving for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games helped set a record at Stansted Airport on Friday (July 27).

The influx of so many private jets and aircraft saw more planes parked overnight at the airport than ever before.

In total 165 planes were positioned around the north-side and south-side areas of the airport, compared to 156 for the Champions League Final at Wembley in May 2011.

Trevor Waldock, Stansted’s head of Airside Operations, said: “We had an extremely busy day on Friday with scores of private jets flying in world leaders and the rich and famous attending the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“Delegations from Germany, Italy, USA, Albania, Qatar, Armenia, Slovakia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Serbia, Kazakhstan and Russia were all looked after by the airport’s private aviation specialists.”

“Stansted has lots of spare capacity so we were able to accommodate 165 aircraft of all shapes and sizes overnight, which is a new record for the airport. It was an immense logistical operation and hugely challenging, but the professionalism and skill demonstrated from the various organisations at the airport ensured that everything ran very smoothly.”

Stansted has three established private aviation specialists, or Fixed Based Operators (FBO): Harrods Aviation, Universal Aviation and Inflite. Earlier this year, Aero Toy Store, a fourth FBO opened a base at the airport.