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Royalty descends on Biggin Hill Airport as Canadian business hopes to turn airport into "world-class aviation hub"

PUBLISHED: 15:47 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:11 22 May 2017

Bombardier officially opened its 52,000sq ft service centre on Thursday

A state-of-the-art airplane service centre welcomed Prince Michael of Kent at Biggin Hill Airport this week, as the firm behind the centre expressed hope to create a “world-class aviation hub” at the airport.

On Thursday, leading planes manufacturer Bombardier officially opened the doors to its 52,000 square foot hangar, which will soon be working round-the-clock on scheduled and unscheduled plane maintenance.

The company, which is still looking to employ more than two dozen engineers to bring its numbers up to 60, declared the service centre open for business to deal with the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of Learjet, Challenge and Global Express planes.

The company hopes to run its maintenance service 24-hours a day seven days a week, once it has filled all of its vacant positions, with recruitment still ongoing.

“We are committed to a long-term relationship with Biggin Hill Airport to develop a world-class aviation hub serving as a catalyst for business aviation growth in the region,” said vice president and general manager at Bombardier, Jean-Christophe Gallagher.

“We are extremely proud to inaugurate our new facility during the airport’s 100-year anniversary celebration, making this an even more memorable milestone for Bombardier.”

Airport chairman Andrew Walters added: “Local people said they wanted good, high-tech modern jobs for their sons and daughters near to where they are growing up,” said Mr Walters.

“So a huge thanks to all in the community who supported our plans and we are certain that and Bombardier will repay that faith and deliver those jobs.”

Prince Michael of Kent performed the official opening, unveiling a brass plaque in the hangar.

His Royal Highness said: “As the leading manufacturer of trains and planes, their presence at Biggin Hill is hugely welcome and will contribute significantly to the advancement of the planned Strategic Outer London Development Centre.”

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