Plans for pioneering aerospace college Biggin Hill airport

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A high tech aerospace and technology college could be opened at Biggin Hill airport.

Two public consultations recently garnered sufficient support, and now a planning application has been submitted to Bromley Council seeking permission for a pioneering aerospace college to be built. It has been put forward by London South East Colleges (LSEC) which has developed the plans in partnership with the airport over the past two years. A £6.2m grant for the project was secured from the GLA’s Skills for Londoners FE Capital Investment Fund. Those looking for a career in aviation can join courses at LSEC’s Bromley Campus revolving around cabin crew and aviation operations.

This new £11m college is expected to open in 2021 to help address the huge skills gap that the aviation industry is facing by providing first-class technical training for the next generation of engineers, technicians and ground crew.

Key employer partners supporting the project include Bombardier, University of Greenwich, Virgin Atlantic, the Royal Aeronautical Society and airports at Gatwick and London City.
College principal Sam Parrett said: “The aerospace and aviation industry is growing rapidly and we need to ensure we supply the pipeline of skills that are needed to help this continue. We very much hope to move forward with this project quickly, giving young people throughout the region the opportunity to follow a career pathway into this exciting industry.”

And the chairman of London Biggin Hill Airport, Andrew Walters, added: “We’ve been working closely with the Greater London Authority, the London Borough of Bromley, and London South East Colleges to develop these proposals for a state-of-the-art facility, which will offer unique training on site at the airport.

“As the fastest growing business aviation airport in Europe, our focus is on inspiring and training the aerospace industry professionals of tomorrow. This new college will support our vision and we are excited about moving forward with what is a much-needed project.”

The new college will provide pathways to accreditation and professional qualifications within aviation. A range of technical specialities will be covered, including routes into aerospace engineering.