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Champions League Final gives big traffic boost to Cardiff Airports

Business Jets at Cardiff Airport (Image: Joe Mills)

Business Jets at Cardiff Airport (Image: Joe Mills)

The Champions League Final last weekend provided a major traffic boost to both cardiff airports.

While Cardiff Airport (CWL/EGFF) in Rhoose saw fans arriving from across Europe, Cardiff City Heliport (EGFC) was playing host to VIP Helicopters and various Air Support Units.

Mistral Air 737 at Cardiff Airport (Image: Aviation Wales)

Cardiff Airport anticipated around 400 extra movements between the 1st to 4th June. The peak was on Saturday the 3rd June which saw 84 flights arrive into the airport (including business jets) on top of the normal scheduled flights.

Alitalia A330 at Cardiff Airport (Image: John Moore)

The extra traffic included flights from Madrid, Rome, Turin and Milan. Unusual airlines included Mistral Air, Ernest Airlines, Iberia, Alitalia, Carpatair, Spirit Air, Aviro Air, Blue Panorma, Alba Star & Cityjet as well as a host of business jets.

Iberia Airbus A340-600 landing at Cardiff Airport (Image: Aviation Wales)

The weekend is expected to have swelled the airports passenger numbers by over 20,000.

Your pictures of the weekend at Cardiff Airport

Types of Aircraft visiting Cardiff Airport included:
Boeing 737
Airbus A319
Fokker F100
Saab 340
BAe 146

Cardiff City Heliport

At Cardiff City Heliport things became busy on Saturday afternoon when it handled the arrival & departure of over 150 flights and 250 passengers. The heliport, which is located on the Tremorfa Foreshore, saw “significant demand” with 30 heliopters using the facility.

Cardiff City Heliport (Image: Mike Freshney)

A Cardiff Heliport spokesperson told Aviation Wales: “During the period of Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th the heliport provided a facility for the helicopters to land 250 passengers for the game, provide a base for the operation of the Television Helicopter as well a landing area for the Police helicopters who were providing the airborne security support for the event.

“Planning for the event started back in September 2016 and involved working with Cardiff and Bristol Airports and Air Traffic units as well as Gloucester and Kemble airports, the Football Association of Wales, the local Police and Cardiff Council.

“Due to the complex nature of the event and the large amount of airspace requirements in the Cardiff and Bristol area’s on the day, the heliport experienced significant demand both before and after the game and we were excited to make a joint venture with Fresh Air (UK) and Apollo Air Services for the UEFA Champions League Final. Fresh Air (UK) and Apollo Air Services delivered a full helicopter charter service for those wishing to arrive in comfort and style. They also provided an additional Air Traffic Service at the Heliport for the day, a full booking in system for helicopters as well as the Ground Handlers. The Heliport provided a full emergency fire cover and a refuelling crew as well as providing the welfare for 70 helicopter pilots.

“Overall Cardiff City Heliport had over 150 movements with a total of 30 different helicopters being used throughout the day and into the late hours of Sunday morning. The first helicopter connected with the event arrived on Friday 2nd June but most arrived after mid-day Saturday whilst the last one left to return to the London area around 00-30hrs on Sunday.

“Overall the work done by both Cardiff Heliport, Fresh-Air (UK) and supported by the other agencies ensured that the event was a safe and successful one for all concerned. Next time South Wales has a large event being planned the heliport will be ready to support it.”

Cardiff City Heliport (Image: Mike Freshney)

Cardiff City Heliport recently reopened after a lease was signed by the new operators, the owners of Caernarfon Airport, who believe there is a market for flights from Cardiff to London and are also exploring flights to Dublin and their own airport in West Wales.

Cardiff City Heliport (Image: Mike Freshney)

Other airports that recieved Champions League Flights included Bristol Airport (BRS/EGGD), Cotswold Airport (GBA/EGBP), Gloucestershire Airport (GLO/EGBJ) and Birmingham (BHX/EGBB).

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