Private pilots will have to book take-off and landing slots at a host of airports during next year’s Olympics.
The restrictions will apply not only to business jets touching down at South East airports for the Games, but also to amateur flyers taking light aircraft for brief pleasure flights. The measures aim to cut delays and disruption to flights in the South East’s congested skies during London 2012.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “As part of the Government’s strategy to ensure successful delivery of efficient transport services for the 2012 London Olympic Games, I am today announcing the introduction of new measures to limit disruption and delay to all flights using airports in the south east of England during the expected period of peak demand for air services for the Games.”
In a written parliamentary statement, Hammond said the Airports Slot Allocation (Amendment) Regulations would mean “that during the Games the available air space capacity over the south east of England will be able to accommodate the maximum possible number of extra flights”.
Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and London City are already subject to restrictions, but the latest rules will affect 36 other airports and airfields, from large terminals such as Birmingham to tiny airfields like White Waltham Airfield.
Hammond added: “All flights operating in controlled airspace and intending to use a co-ordinated airport will need to obtain, and operate in accordance with, pre-booked take-off or landing slots.”