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First UK airport trial of a drone surveillance system takes place at London Southend (11/5/18)


A successful trial of a ground-breaking drone surveillance system has taken place at London Southend Airport this week (w/c 7 May 2018).

IPS IS combining its skills with the METIS Aerospace SKYPERION technology to develop a suitable solution for integration into airports. This system not only spots drones much sooner than previously possible and allows them to be tracked, but it also identifies exactly where the operator is located (offering the possibility of them being apprehended), something which has previously been almost impossible.

Rogue drone operations are becoming an increasing issue for UK airports with upwards of 3 to 4 sightings of ‘rogue’ drones per week in the London airspace area alone. Drones are readily available from High Street shops and can be flown within a few minutes of purchasing, and although they have many lawful uses they can also be easily adapted to carry a range of payloads, from cameras to explosives.

Due to the size and colour of most drones they are very difficult to spot, however if one is sighted near the critical part of an airport operation (such as the final approach to the runway) then the only option is to completely stop operations. This most notably happened at Gatwick in July 2017, which led to delays for thousands of passengers and considerable costs to the airport.

Damon Knight, Head of London Southend Airport Air Traffic Services says “We do not have any outstanding issues with ‘rogue’ drone operations at London Southend, but we have had some sightings near the airport which fortunately have not affected our operations. However, we recognise that there is a wider problem for the aviation industry and so as an airport we have been very involved in understanding how we can deal with the issue and helping to explore ways to co-ordinate drone activity in the existing aviation operational framework.”

He added “After being introduced to IPS and METIS and witnessing a live demonstration of their drone surveillance system we recognised the huge potential of the system for the whole aviation industry and so therefore invited both companies to undertake a trial in an operational environment here at London Southend.”

The purpose of the week-long trial was to demonstrate and test the ability of the IPS-METIS SKYPERION Solution to monitor, detect, track and record the activity of RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems - better known as drones, in the vicinity of London Southend Airport. A series of ‘tame’ drones were deployed near the airport in order to test how the equipment worked in an ‘as live’ situation. The equipment involves two airfield sensors which offer 360-degree coverage up to 4kms - in all weathers, 24 hours a day – feeding back real-time information to a control ‘station’ located with the Air Traffic Control team.

Tony Burnell, CEO METIS Aerospace Ltd commented “We are very grateful to London Southend to allow IPS and METIS the opportunity to prove the SKYPERION technology in their operational environment. We are looking forward to continuing the forward-thinking relationship with London Southend to develop SKYPERION for integration into Air Traffic Systems.”

Ansar Ali, Chairman of IPS Limited added “We are proud to be working in partnership with Tony Burnell and the team at METIS Aerospace, and we are grateful to Damon Knight at London Southend Airport for facilitating the proving trial at London Southend.  We are delighted with the success of the trial and we look forward to working with users, regulators and other stakeholders in further developing the system, in order to provide enhanced safety, security and business continuity at airfields and other critical locations.”

Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Aviation, owners of London Southend Airport said “When we heard about the potential benefits of this new technology for the whole aviation industry we were only too pleased for London Southend to lead the way and help in trialling it. We are delighted this week has been a success and look forward to seeing where this project goes next.”


New Stobart Jet Centre for London region outstrips competitors on price, speed and convenience

Official unveiling of major new executive jet Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at London Southend Airport

FBO offers unique service -  24/7 facility all year round (except Christmas Day), unrestricted slots, VIP experience, and region’s most competitive prices

Stobart Aviation, part of the Stobart Group, has officially launched a major new executive jet fixed based operator (FBO) at London Southend Airport, outstripping competitors on price, speed and convenience in the south east region.  The new “Stobart Jet Centre”, is also expected to deliver a major boost to the capacity available for private flights into London, Europe’s busiest city for private aviation.  The centre is expected to cater for 5,000 flights per year by 2022.

Last night (18 January 2018) senior management hosted a launch party at the new terminal with 100 VIP industry guests who were given an exclusive tour of the facilities.  The Stobart Jet Centre will offer customers:

• Convenience

▪ The centre will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year.  Only one of the five other private jet centres in the capital - London Luton - offers a similar service

▪ London Southend Airport is only 42 miles from the heart of London’s West End with excellent road, rail and helicopter links to the city  

▪ Car services can drive right up to the plane.  Chauffeur transfers are less than an hour by road to Central London and only 30 minutes to the M25, the London orbital motorway

▪ Six trains per hour in to the centre of London within 45 minutes from a dedicated rail station

▪ There are helicopter transfers to and from Canary Wharf or Battersea Heliport. Passengers can reach central London in 10 minutes from London Southend

• Speed

▪ With no slot restrictions, London Southend Airport can offer faster departure routes outside of London airspace, reducing flight times  

▪ The centre offers onsite immigration and customs, with pre-clearance available to qualifying passengers

• Comfort

▪ The centre offers a VIP lounge with complimentary catering, refreshments and business services

▪ Friendly and professional team to escort passengers to and from the aircraft

Support

▪ Full range of facilities for all aircraft needs

▪ Private crew lounge with complimentary refreshments, TV and computer facilities

• Value

▪ By far the most competitive landing, parking and handling prices in the London area

The jet centre is another development at London’s growing Southend Airport which was ranked in 2017, the Capital’s best airport for the fifth year in a row.

Stephen Grimes, Managing Director, Stobart Jet Centre Limited, says “Always at the heart of our thinking for this new private terminal has been to provide our customers with the utmost convenience, speed and comfort. We will be also offering the most competitive prices in the London business and private aviation market.  The Stobart Jet Centre will give guests and pilots a smooth, premium experience because we can provide 24-hour availability and departure routes outside London’s crowded airspace.

“You can land or take off at any time, day or night, returning from business or leisure from any city around the world, with direct access to your aircraft from the terminal.   We are absolutely confident that Stobart Jet Centre provides a unique environment and a refreshing, hassle-free alternative to London’s current, crowded private aviation terminals.”

Further details of the Stobart Jet Centre can be found at www.stobartjetcentre.com


London Southend becomes first UK airport to open a purpose built, centralised de-icing facility (9/2/18)

London Southend has become the first airport in Britain to deliver a purpose built aircraft de-icing facility, increasing efficiency and the speed of de-icing when bad weather hits.

Now instead of de-icing when the plane is on its stand - fully loaded with passengers keen to depart - an aircraft can simply push back and taxi to the Centralised De-icing Facility. Here, with engines running, the plane will be efficiently de-iced before smoothly taxiing for take-off.  This new operation enables more aircraft to de-ice more quickly and to get to the runway for departure well within hold-over times.