Wimbledon 2023: Business Aviation Planning Guide

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Wimbledon, which takes place July 3-16, 2023, in London, is the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and a staple of the billionaire social calendar. As a result, throughout the tournament period, the London area will see above-average business jet activity, high congestion, and demand for services.

Here’s everything you need to know about operating a business jet to London for Wimbledon and how to select the best airport.


About Wimbledon

Aerial view of the South London district of Wimbledon. In the centre of the image is the lake of Wimbledon Park, just above are the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club which hold the annual Grand Slam tennis tournament.

Wimbledon, one of the most revered tennis tournaments in the world, is held annually at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London. Situated approximately eight miles southwest of Central London, the tournament draws athletes, spectators, and business aviation operators from around the globe.


Airport Options

With eight area airports, operators have many options when attending Wimbledon.

The All England Club is located approximately 18 miles southwest of Central London.

Two notable airport options within close proximity to the tournament are RAF London Northolt (EGWU) and London City Airport (EGLC).

When considering the distance from airports, RAF London Northolt (EGWU) is the closest option, just about 10 miles northwest of Wimbledon. The drive time from Northolt Airport to Wimbledon typically ranges between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

On the other hand, London City Airport (EGLC), located in the eastern part of London, is slightly farther from Wimbledon. The distance between London City Airport and Wimbledon is approximately 16 miles, resulting in a drive time of around 45 to 60 minutes, considering the usual traffic patterns.

You can read more about all London-area airport options in our London Destination Guide.


Northolt (EGWU)

RAF Northolt is the closest airport to the Wimbledon venue.

Distance from Wimbledon Venue

Our top airport recommendation for operators attending Wimbledon is Northolt. It’s not only the closest airport to the venue, it’s also the most private and secure.

Privacy and Lack of Congestion

Northolt is a military airport managed by the Royal Air Force, requiring slots and PPR. Because it is an active military airport, it is highly secure while offering more privacy and less congestion than other regional airports. It is also an extremely easy airport to operate in and out of.

Proximity to Heathrow

It is also located nearby Heathrow Airport, making crew swaps easy. In addition, recent increases to the airport’s daily operating hours now make it easy for operators to fly in and out for same-day business in Central London.

Extended Hours

Northolt’s new extended hours are:

  • Monday to Friday: 0800 – 2000 LCL
  • Saturday: 0800 – 1500 LCL
  • Sunday: 1200 – 1900 LCL

Parking

Long-term parking is usually available at Northolt with no limitations.

Runway Limitations

Northolt’s runway is 5,535 ft., and larger aircraft — the size of an ACJ, BBJ, or larger– may not be accommodated due to limited fire coverage.

Our London-Northolt destination guide article has a complete breakdown of operating to the airport.


London City Airport (EGLC)

Looking down the runway at London City Airport.

London City Airport (EGLC) is another suitable option, especially for those preferring a more centrally located airport. Situated in the heart of the city, London City Airport offers easy access to Wimbledon and provides a swift connection to Central London’s vibrant atmosphere.

Operating Hours

Operating hours are 0630-2130 local Monday-Friday, 0630-1230 local Saturday, 1230-2130 local Sunday, and 0900-2130 on bank holidays. Due to peak commercial activity hours, restricted GA operation hours, and high costs, EGLC is considered inconvenient for many operators.

Runway Limitations

EGLC has a short 4,948 ft. runway. As a result, aircraft performance issues must be considered due to a required steep glide slope.

Parking

EGLC has limited parking capacity and very high hourly rates.


Conclusion

Universal Aviation Northolt

Universal Aviation UK – London Northolt is the sole provider of over-the-wing handling and belt loader operations for baggage loading and unloading at the airport.

Northolt and London City are the two most convenient airport options for business aviation operators attending Wimbledon. However, Northolt stands out as the top choice due to its proximity to the venue, privacy, security, and parking availability.

Consulting with a reputable ground handler, such as Universal Aviation, can provide valuable assistance in selecting the best airport based on your specific needs and preferences.


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