2024 UEFA Champions League Final in London: Business Aviation Planning Guide

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The 2024 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League Final will be held on June 1, 2024, in London.

The match is one of the most popular sporting events in the world and is expected to draw a high volume of business aviation traffic to the city. The anticipated number of business jets that will be operating to London for the match is expected to create congestion at area airports and competition for services.

If you’re planning on attending the event, or plan to be in London during this period, it is important to begin planning now as ground services will begin booking up fast.

In addition, we strongly suggest you work with an experienced Trip Support Provider and Ground Support Team to mitigate the risks of something going wrong during this high-congestion period.

Here’s what you need to know:


Date and Venue

View from the air of Wembley Stadium in North West London. The sports arena hosts some of the most important football matches in the UK.

The final match will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 21:00 CET at London’s Wembley Stadium. 


The Teams – and how this impacts your planning

The final two teams will not be determined until closer to the event. As with most major sporting events, there will be a mass rush to arrange services when the final two teams are known—as owners, sponsors, and fans all start making their arrangements. For scheduling purposes, try to get ahead of this as soon as possible.

Similarly, as two of the four remaining teams drop out while trying to advance to the Final, there will be some cancellations, which will create limited opportunities to snatch up spots for hotels, ground transportation, and more.


Preferred Airport – London Northolt (EGWU) – Extended Hours for Match Weekend

Northolt is a military airport managed by the Royal Air Force. Because it is an active military airport, it is highly secure while also offering more privacy and less congestion than other airports in the region. It is also an extremely easy airport to operate in and out of. Historically, Northolt was a little tricky for some operators to get in and out of. In 2021, Universal Aviation UK partnered with the Royal Air Force to be the sole FBO and ground-handling provider at Northolt. Since that time, Universal Aviation UK – London Northolt has focused on making Northolt an easier, more accessible option that business aircraft operators will want to use as an alternative to other more congested airports close to the city. In May 2021, Northolt announced extended hours, making it an even more appealing option for business travelers.

With no other London airports open to business aviation at night (our blog has more), Northolt is not only your closest option, nine miles (just a 20-minute drive from Wembley), but also your most convenient, especially with our adjusted operational hours for the event.

Northolt Extended Hours Weekend of Match

Working with the RAF, Universal Aviation has agreed with the airport to have a 4 hour extension on Saturday 1 June and a shift from a 1200 start to a 0900 start on Sunday 2 June to provide a superb choice of airfield for the Champions League Final being held at Wembley stadium.
  • Friday, May 30th: Normal hours (0800 -2000)
  • Saturday, June 1st: Four-hour extension (0800-1900) 
  • Sunday, June 2nd: Early opening for departures (0900-1600)
  • Monday, June 3rd: (0800-1700)

Therefore, Northolt may be attractive both Sunday morning and for the arrival Saturday afternoon.

For more details on operating to Northolt, read our Northolt Business Jet Destination Guide.

If parking is not available at Northolt, the best alternate is Stansted. You can read more about these airports in our London Business Aviation Guide.


Parking, Slots & Hangarage

Northolt is a military airport requiring both slots and PPR. In some cases, operators are able to apply for a PPR in the morning and receive approval later the same day. Long-term parking is available at Northolt—there is no parking limit. Universal Aviation UK—London Northolt can assist with repositioning and long-term parking at London-Stansted (EGSS), which operates 24/7.

In March 2024, Universal Aviation UK, working with the Royal Air Force, arranged for hangarage to be available to Universal customers on an ad-hoc basis, subject to availability.

24-hour notice is required to arrange hangar space.


Third-Party Services

Many third-party services, such as ground transportation, catering, and hotels, will reach near capacity for this event. Reservations may drop off depending on which teams actually make the Finals, but new ones will be made quickly in their place. Your trip support provider or ground support provider may have open hotel blocks and ground transportation providers reserved already, so it’s worth asking! 


Conclusion

Universal Aviation Northolt

If you have experience operating into London, the environment is going to be more challenging than you are used to because of the congestion and lack of night slots available to business aviation this summer. We strongly recommend working with an experienced Trip Support Provider and Ground Support Team to mitigate risks of something going wrong.

Due to its proximity to Wembley, Northolt is the best airport choice for those attending the match. Northolt will also have extended hours the weekend of the match making it even more convenient.

Universal Aviation UK has the expertise and resources to make your trip to the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final a success. 


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