This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
With the UK in national lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic, London Biggin Hill Airport is now Europe's first general aviation gateway to offer an on-site Covid-19 testing center. Named after Dr. Joe Mansi, a physician who risked his life saving local bombing victims during WWII’s London Blitz, the center will offer testing to all arriving and departing passengers and crew, as well as airport businesses and local residents from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays.
The facility, which opened this week, is equipped to administer four different Covid-related tests with differing timeframes and pricing, including antigen (15 minutes, £85), antibody (15 minutes, £75), LAMP test (one hour, £140), and RT-PCR test (48 hours, £140). Recipients of the quick tests are given documentation to show authorities, while those for the latter are delivered electronically. On Tuesday, its first day of operation, the center administered 37 tests. If a positive test is received, the individual must then isolate, according to UK government guidelines.
“The Mansi Testing Suite is an extension of our Contactless Travel initiative, giving passengers and crew a convenient way to be tested so they can continue their journey with peace of mind,” said Andy Patsalides, the airport’s head of marketing. “Passengers can either be tested at the Mansi Suite, or clinicians will come airside to conduct tests onboard the aircraft or in the terminal building.”