I am planning to fly from the US to London area in my Bonanza in June. Which London area airports have Avgas and instrument approaches ?
My son and I are embarking on a trip around the world…..
I would recommend London-Oxford and London-Ashford…very conveniently located.
OK, just joking…
Seriously: if you are looking for instrument approaches, there are realistically two airports: Biggin Hill (EGKB) and Southend (EGMC). Both have Avgas and are reasonably priced (expect 50 Euro for a landing and an overnight). Biggin Hill is geographically closer to London, but you need a cab ride before you can take the train. Southend is quite far away, but you can take a reasonably fast train directly from the airport into London. I was there at the end of last year.
An alternative would be the other (university) town: Cambridge.
IFR-approaches and Avgas, 10 mins by cab from the field to the station and, depending on the train, between 50 mins and 1h 20 mins into London-Kings Cross or Liverpool Street.
And Cambridge itself is also well worth a visit !
The advantage of Biggin Hill EGKB is that it gives you the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of British catering
I recommend carrying an extra plastic bag, to stop the grease dripping out.
If one foregoes the requirement for an instrument approach, is there another reasonable airport, usable for arrivals from the EU Schengen area, that would be closer to London’s touristic parts (e.g. Kensington), that one of you would recommend? I would prefer to avoid grass runway/taxiway, but will consider them if necessary. Jet-A1 availability is definitely a factor.
In terms of sheer distance, the three closest (GA-accessible) airfields to London are Biggin Hill, Damyn’s Hall (no jetfuel, and grass) and Elstree. However, sheer distance often isn’t the most important thing. Transport connections are. That’s why many people actually use Southend for getting into London. Five minutes walk and then a fast train directly into the city.
Also, airports to the south and east of London (like Biggin, Rochester, Southend) are of course better if visiting from Europe, since that will save you a lot of flying time over, say, Elstree.
Please also note that coming from a Schengen+EU country, you can use any airfield you like in the UK. No need for a “customs” airport. Just the famous GAR form.
Southend is pretty much the easiest one if you want to get to east London / the city. There’s a 1h train from the airport into town, many times per hour.
Biggin is closer so taxi is an option but it will take as much time as Southend and be more expensive overall.
Speaking of 1hr trains to London, my base Shoreham EGKA is a nice easy friendly place, with a 1hr nonstop train to London (Victoria station) but only early in the morning; the rest of the day you have to change at Brighton.
North Weald and Stapleford are close to the Tube (Metro) system, and Denham to a rail station though you’ll need a short taxi ride in each case.
Guys, perhaps you know that unfortunately the thread starter was killed in a crash along with his son during this very circumnavigation in Pago Pago. Don’t know if they ever made it to the UK. Very sad story.