East Midlands airport is gearing up to become one of July’s busiest UK airports after it was confirmed that Donington Park had won an agreement to host the British Grand Prix for ten years, starting from 2010. It is expected that, given Donington’s close proximity to the East Midlands, large numbers of F1 fans will pass through the airport as the most convenient way to travel to the Grand Prix.
A spokeswoman for East Midlands airport said that they could not be sure at this stage how much of an increase there will be in passenger traffic, but it is certain that the airport must be prepared to deal with much larger numbers than usual. It is expected that, as well as ordinary F1 fans, there will be a marked increase in the number of celebrities and high-flying clients using East Midlands, who will no doubt make use of the executive lounge which has already been established at the airport, offering complimentary food and drink to VIPs.
As well as bringing in more business for the airport, it is also expected that the new deal will be lucrative for the various charter companies in the area. Donington company Air Charter Service already manages the helicopter charter service at Silverstone but managing director Tony Bauckham predicts that there will be an increased demand for private jets in addition to helicopters, because of Donington’s close proximity to an airfield.
Commenting on the Donington’s new agreement, circuit owners Simon Gillett and Lee Gill expressed delight that the development of the Park would bring new investment to the area, “while securing the future of one of the most important and significant sporting events in Britain.”