British Grand Prix 2023: Business Aviation Guide

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The 2023 British F1 Grand Prix will take place from July 7-9, 2023, at the legendary Silverstone Circuit, roughly 90 minutes northwest of London. This high-profile event is anticipated to cause a considerable surge in air and road traffic around Luton (EGGW) and Coventry (EGBE), with heightened road congestion predicted in the vicinity of the race circuit. Further, it’s expected that general aviation (GA) arrivals for the event will begin a week prior and continue to be heavy for a couple of days post-race. Below is an overview of essential details to note:


The Race

The British Grand Prix is recognized for its dramatic flair, glamour, and intense competition, ensuring a weekend of high-speed racing.

The schedule for the event is as follows:

  • Friday, July 7th: Practice
  • Saturday, July 8th: Qualifying
  • Sunday, July 9th: Main Race

For full race details, click here.


VIP Experience

Silverstone, already globally recognized for its thrilling racing history and vibrant nightlife, becomes the epicenter of excitement during the British Grand Prix weekend. With the world’s racing elite descending upon the region, the area transforms into a round-the-clock entertainment hub. High-end restaurants serve up culinary delights, while exclusive clubs throw open their doors for unforgettable after-parties.

Click here for more information on VIP packages and events.


Best Airport Options

Luton (EGGW) and Coventry (EGBE) are the optimal airports for most operators due to their status as Airports of Entry (AOE). Oxford (EGTK) is another option and can function as an AOE upon request. They are conveniently close to Silverstone and its racing circuit. It’s advised to request aircraft parking as soon as possible due to the potential scarcity of slots closer to the event date.

Although further from Silverstone, Stansted is still an airport option worth considering due to less congestion and significantly lower parking pricing than Luton and better operating hours than Coventry, and a longer runway than Oxford.

  • Coventry Airport (EGBE) to Silverstone: Approximately 30 miles. The drive time is around 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Oxford Airport (EGTK) to Silverstone: Approximately 30 miles. The drive time is around 50 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Luton Airport (EGGW) to Silverstone: Approximately 40 miles. The drive time is around 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Stansted Airport (EGSS) to Silverstone: Approximately 70 miles. The drive time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  • PPRs for non-based aircraft at Coventry (EGBE)

Check Feasibility-IQ for details on any of these airports.


Coventry (EGBE)

Coventry in West Midlands, England. Old town aerial view from ruined cathedral tower. Prominent Holy Trinity Church.

Coventry is an airport of entry only with special approval. Hours of operation are from 0900-1800 LT from Monday through Friday, and from 0900-1700 LT on Saturday and Sunday

General aviation (GA) operations are restricted to Monday to Friday, 0800-1700 local, with limited ATC, and Saturday to Sunday, 0900-1700 local, without ATC CATII services. PPRs are necessary for all non-based aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 30,000 kilos (66,000 pounds) to secure aircraft parking.


Oxford (EGTK)

Oxford from above.

Oxford is an AOE and primarily supports GA traffic. The airport operates from 0630-2230 local. No PPR is required. Slots are required. Parking is generally available. Note that the runway is relatively short, measuring 5,092 ft.


Luton (EGGW)

Sign for the North, Luton airport and Dunstable.

London Luton Airport announced a night slot ban to go into effect from 1st June to 20 September between the hours of 10 PM and 5:59 AM GMT. EGGW has very specific noise profiles operators must follow on departure, and fines for infractions are routine. This location has less GA parking availability than EGSS. It is the most expensive London area airport in terms of parking – which can run over 2,000 USD/night for a Global or larger Gulfstream aircraft.

Luton requires slots for all arrivals/departures, though prior permission required (PPR) isn’t mandatory. It is one of the most congested airports in the London area.


Stansted (EGSS)

Universal Aviation Stansted

London Stansted (EGSS) is a 24/7 airport of entry (AOE) with plenty of GA parking, a 10,000 ft runway and complete support services with multiple transportation options into London.

Airport slots are required, and there are restrictions to consider for noisier aircraft. For example, a Global Express may depart 24/7, while a private Gulfstream 2 may not be able to operate after 2330 local due to noise considerations. Aircraft hush kitted to Stage 3 standards are permitted, based on submitted noise certificates. Still, while they may be able to arrive 24/7, departures may be restricted after 2330 local.

The airport will have limited night slots available. There will be 10 ad hoc night slots available per week. Read more about Stansted’s night slot allocation here. Our Stansted Destination Guide has even more information.


Advanced Bookings for Hotels and Ground Transport

Due to the event’s popularity, hotels near Silverstone will be heavily booked, which may limit available options. Hotel prices are expected to rise during the Grand Prix period, with possible non-refundable deposits and extended cancellation policies. If local hotels are fully booked, consult with your ground handler for alternative accommodation. Early booking of ground transportation is also advised due to anticipated high demand.


Helicopter Transfers

Heli transfers are extremely popular for this event and should be booked well in advance.


Conclusion

When planning operations to EGGW, EGBE, or EGTK for the British Grand Prix, it’s advisable to arrive a couple of days before the race commences and to depart a day or two after its conclusion. This strategy allows for smoother operations amidst the expected congestion at these airports. You should have more operational flexibility if you choose Stansted (EGGS). If you’re considering operating to the British F1 Grand Prix, Universal Aviation UK stands ready to assist! You can also leverage Feasibility-IQ for more details on London-area airports.


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