First SAF-powered Heli Shuttle service lifts off from London Biggin Hill


The first Heli Shuttle service from London Biggin Hill Airport to London Heliport in the UK capital powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) lifted off on Monday December 11th, 2023, accompanied by SAF Investor’s sister title Helicopter Investor. The AW109S helicopter (G-RYFF) operated by helicopter services company Castle Air lifted off from Biggin at 11.20GMT for the flight which took slightly longer than the regular six minutes, due to strong headwinds.

Robert Walters, commercial director, London Biggin Hill Airport said in a video released to mark the event: “I’m thrilled to support this first London Heli Shuttle flight using our SAF.”

He added: “It’s been nearly two years since we started selling the fuel here at Biggin Hill and I’m delighted to announce here, we can start putting it on the Heli Shuttle flights into Battersea London Heliport.”

The SAF, supplied by Air Bp, will enable shuttle clients to play their part in the making private aviation more sustainable, according to Walters. “The service enables our customers to fly to London not only in just six minutes but also using Sustainable Aviation Fuel and supporting the wider initiative in the industry and becoming cleaner and greener.”

The AW109S captain and charter pilot Raiyan Rawoof told me after the flight to central London: “There was no difference in the aircraft’s handling characteristics during the SAF powered flight. It was just another mission.”

Rawoof said before the flight: “It’s a very special day here at Battersea. “We will be flying the London Heli Shuttle to Battersea powered for the first time by Sustainable Aviation Fuel.”

London Heliport is the main rotary airport serving the capital. Helicopters are not permitted to use London City Airport. Castle Air offers the on-demand shuttle service from London Biggin Hill Airport to London Heliport at prices starting from £2,400 ($3,008) plus VAT.

Meanwhile, you can watch the video marking the flight below.