Parking in the future

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The future starts today….

number of carsThe number of cars used in the U.K. is steadily increasing, and many families now own more than one car. In 2009 for instance, the ownership of cars rose by 30%, while the population increased only by 4%. And this trend will probably continue; on one hand, many new cars are purchased and licensed in Britain every year, and older cars are also more frequent on the roads – as cars become more resistant.

busy airportsWhat does this mean for car park planners? They have to develop new technologies, as parking space will become scarcer and scarcer. Especially inside large towns, which were built without the planners having imagined that one day millions of vehicles would cross their roads – and look for a free space to park.


Even where large car parks are still available, and sufficient for today’s requirements, techniques to increase parking space will soon have to be considered.

At busy airports for instance, where many travellers like to park their car as fullyautomatedcarparkclose to the terminal as possible, an extension of the available parking will soon become necessary. Also, the wider spaces around airports – that are taken by car parks today – may be coveted by large hotel chains, companies, malls, banks and convention centres that will need additional car parks for their own purpose as well. So how will the need for more parking spaces be satisfied?

fully automated car parks

In fact, the technology to increase parking space – simultaneously saving surface space – is already in the making, and has been implemented in several towns.

automated car parkSeveral companies, like A.P.T., already installed fully automated parking. The principle is simple: you drive up to the garage – whether constructed over the ground or underground – and leave your car on a special surface, as instructed by laser sensors that guide you exactly to the centre of the platform. You close the engine, and leave your car. The car plate is automatically scanned, and a picture of your car is taken. The system also makes sure nobody is left inside the car. After you left the platform, you confirm pressing a button. The platform – also called “pallet” – than starts shifting sideward, upwards or downwards – depending on the closest free space the computer system has attributed to it. A “shuttle” – a flat vehicle loading the pallet with your car – drives it than to the assigned space, which can be on any of the many floors of the parking garage – as the storeys are only half the height of a usual building floor.

During all this procedure, your car is moved smoothly and gently by the robot system – and no human hand ever touches it. Astounding, isn’t it?  Of course, the garage is not completely emptied of human life – at least one technician is always present to fix any problem that may occur to the automated system, and specialists familiar with the system oversee its excellent functioning from their control room. But you will hardly ever see any of them.

automated car parksWhen you come back to collect your car, a device scans your ticket, and the computer system calls up the “shuttle” with your car on its pallet, ready to be brought to you – also fully automatically. The pallet with your car is shifted on place, so you can just enter it and drive away – and the whole process doesn’t exceed two to three minutes. Such systems are operational mainly in Germany, built under a famous ancient hotel in Austria, decongesting Copenhagen in Denmark, and a garage able to hold 1100 cars is planned in Dubai.

car parksSimilar systems – but built as round towers or underground pits – are also planned and operational in Japan. The system consists of a palleted elevator hold and moved around a huge central iron pole – that shifts the cars into free slots around it on several floors. Such fully automated systems have also been built to store bicycles – which are deposited on the elevator with its gripping mechanism at the entrance and than “parked” into the pit.

Not only do these automated garages liberate gripping mechanismprecious space in places where many people convene – they also offer the possibility to cover them with ecology-friendly parks, walkways, shopping centres etc. doubling their utility.

Probably within some years from now such automated parking systems may be
found around London, and also next to the terminals of the busiest London airports.


MEETING SMILINGPERSONBut for the time being, we still have the privilege of being able to choose among a large variety of parking options at any of London’s airports, at prices varying according to the comfort of the offered service. If we opt for the “Meet and Greet” option, we also have the pleasure of meeting a smiling professional driver at the airport entrance who will park our car in a secured parking during our journey. This is certainly a friendlier way of delivering our car to a specialized car park than being just met by a robot saying “stop” and “go”.

Who knows, maybe in future the automated robot parking will also offer a cup of coffee?

Parking – more than just a service

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Parking services: means Work for 66’000 people

Did you think driving your car to a car park and depositing it on o free space is just a simple act of convenience? No, there is much more behind it – an entire service sector, employing more than 66’000 people in the U.K. alone and providing parking services for 26’000 car parks. People love cars. But cars need space. And paved space is limited. Parking is often not allowed on streets, as it parking exhibitionhinders traffic – and thus other drivers. That is what gave rise to an entire service industry, which provides a living to many people. There is an Association, the British Parking Association, promoting professionalism among parking specialists and employees, and excellence in parking for all. It started its activities in 1960 with 70 members, and counts today more than 700 members, half of which are local authorities. The Association also runs the “Safer Parking Scheme”, with the purpose of raising the standard of safety, security, design and operation of U.K. car parks. The parks complying with the requirements obtain the Park Mark Safer Parking award, which has to be re-evaluated every two years. Most car parks at London Airports are holders of this Park Mark.

And there is more: the Parking Today and Parking Review Magazine offer news about the latest developments in the field.

Parkex, Europe’s largest parking exhibition

Every year, an exhibition is held in a U.K. town, displaying parking products of  largest parking exhibition
over 120 global suppliers. From road marking equipment, to automatic paying machines, to soft-ware providers, to detection techno-logies and street lighting… the two-day event enjoys much popularity, and is visited by more than 2000 specialists of the parking sector from all-over Europe.

And most importantly, Oscar-like parking awards!

parking awardsDid you know that there are yearly Parking Awards, celebrated during a gala lunch in a 4-stars London hotel and presented by well-known presenters, actors or comedians?

The event – to which you can assist for £195 – distributes awards in 14 categories.

This year, the trophy of the Best New Car Park was awarded to the London Heathrow Terminal 2 Short Stay parking.

In a similar manner, the European Parking Association also offers biennial awards, to improve the quality of parking structures and services and to promote good services throughout Europe. In 2015 three British firms won EPA awards.

How do you benefit?

While the awards themselves benefit primarily the winning companies and you benefitservices, boosting their advertisement, you as well benefit from these events, whether you knew that they existed or not. You benefit indirectly from the competition they generate among the service providers, who try to outperform each other offering better services. It
may as well have an influence on the parking fees, which are also affected by the competition between parking providers.

Furthermore, there are many websites with user surveys, describing their experience – whether good or not – with most car parks, especially the airport car parks. They are also closely followed by the car park providers, who try to learn from them where and how they could improve their service.

airport car parksThe airport car parks are probably the most exposed to exhaustive scrutiny, as
they are part of the town’s and the nation’s image – inside and outside the country.  So next time you plan to leave your car at any London Airport car park, you can do it in good faith that your car will be in the hands of professionals, supervised, controlled and encouraged by a powerful association and exposed to the wish to serve you better than their competitors.

Airport parking and new parking technologies

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More than 8 million parking spaces

In the United Kingdom, people definitely love cars. 35 million cars were registered in 2011. Of course, all these cars need parking space in the towns, population centres and also at the airports. The British Parking Association estimates that there are between 8 million and 11.3 million parking spaces in total. One of the places where car parks are best organised are the airports. Travellers, business people and families going on vacation alike, appreciate the comfort of driving to the airport in their own car before taking their flight, and also driving back home or to the office after their journey.  It reduces the stress of using one or several types of public transportation, and lets them easily access the terminal with their luggage.

That’s why airport authorities and companies providing car parks are eager to offer the best services to their customers – and thus constantly improve their facilities and upgrade them to the latest available technologies.

Easy booking and registration

Thanks to modern technology, management of car parks is done through powerful computers. If you know your flight date and time, you can easily bookEasy booking and registration your parking through the Internet – from your computer, tablet or Smartphone – and obtain an immediate reply concerning availability and price. Furthermore, advance booking lets you benefit from substantial price reductions. Unless you booked an unchangeable special offer, you even can modify your flight time or days later-on, if you choose another flight. When you check your car into the parking, the system will recognize your advance booking and assign your parking. Even if you choose to arrive at the airport parking without previous booking, the system will register your car at the entrance if there is any free space. There are many different registration and park management systems; some automatic columns give you a ticket with the entry time, and calculate your stay before you leave. Latest systems even scan your car plate number as you approach the entrance, and after checking if you have booked in advance, they also calculate the parking fee before you leave the parking. Of course, park attendants are always present in case you need any information – or if there is a conflict regarding your stay.

Easy retrieval of free parking space

One of the most frustrating and time-consuming features of large busy car parks has ever been the search for a free slot among the hundreds of parked cars. Often it required the driver to circle the parking several times, and when he or she thought they finally found a free space, they might discover that another car took it before they arrived.

If you pre-booked your parking, of course a space is reserved for you. But Easy retrieval of free parking spacenevertheless, it might be tiring to find it. Various companies developed systems to rid you of the annoyance to search for a parking bay. Some use sensors built into the parking surface itself, detecting if a car drives or stations over them. Others use electronic detection devices built into columns erected behind park spaces, or attached to the illumination poles. Even others use camera observation of the whole parking, which is evaluated by a central server and gives the parking management and users a plan showing thefree parking spacefree spaces. All these systems can either display the free spaces on boards inside the parking itself, or can even be accessed through various applications you can download to your mobile device. Such applications may show you the way to take to the free parking bay with arrows directing you to the free space.  A South Korean company recently invented a much simpler, but equally efficient way to detect a free parking space: balloons with an arrow marking “here” and attached to a rope that is fastened on the parking surface itself rise in the air when a park space is free, and when a car parks over the rope it pulls the balloon down, so that it is not visible from afar. An ingenious creation, isn’t it?

While you probably don’t reflect a lot about all these fine tunings car park managers implement to improve your airport car parking experience, it will certainly reflect in your degree of satisfaction – and probability in you willingness use the service again.

Photovoltaic parking cover

An ideal way to retrieve renewable energy while protecting the cars from sunrays as well as rain, snow or hail,  is to cover the parking with photovoltaic panels or sheets. Although this technological development is not yet applied on many car parks, we will certainly witness the dissemination of this idea. Depending on the climate prevailing in the location of the car park, this is an ideal means of double use of the large surface car parks!

Photovoltaic parking cover



Late summer holidays from london stansted airport – all inclusive, with parking fees

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Benefit from a 30% reduction on holiday packages!

London Stansted Airport has its own travel agency, which offers very interesting and competitive prices on “flight-only”, “flight and hotel packages” and “short city breaks”.

Among the late summer holiday package offers – which benefit from a 30% price reduction – we chose some examples, and add the parking fee you would pay with the corresponding offer.


In Egypt’s fabulous holiday destination of Sharm El Sheikh you will be overwhelmed by the charm of this beautiful village, the friendly smile of the welcoming staff and the unmatched beauty of the dark blue sea with its coral gardens, colourful fish and clear waters. Charm El Sheikh is the famous resort where heads of state and business leaders choose to held their conventions and conferences. It is also a vacation spot of choice where film stars, famous singers and actors like to take their rest, so you could easily walk across a World celebrity…

EgyptOffered packages:

Departure 27 Sept. 2015

Round-Trip Flight + 11 nights at Luna Sharm 3Stars Hotel, Bed & Breakfast, from  £486.00

Airport parking at Stansted Airport Long Stay £124.09

or Meet & Greet  £209.99



Departure 27 Sept. 2015

Round-Trip Flight + 11 nights at Maritime Jolie Ville Royal 5Stars Hotel, Bed & Breakfast, from  £523.00

Airport parking at Stansted Airport Long Stay £124.09 or Meet & Greet  £209.99


GREECEEnjoy the beautiful weather, the exceptional beauty and wonderful landscapes that can only be found in the country of the Goddess of Love – Aphrodite. In Greece you and your Family will rejoice the wonderful sandy beaches, the glass-clear seas and become friends with the cheerful and friendly population. Combining history, culture, arts and philosophy Greece is the ideal vacation spot, where you can forget about everyday stress and routine.

Sidari, Corfu

Departure 13 Sept. 2015

Round-Trip Flight + 7 nights at San George Studios & Apartments

3Stars, self catering, from  £309.00

Airport parking at Stansted Airport Long Stay £45.99 or Meet & Greet  £59.99


Departure 16 Oct. 2015

Round-Trip Flight + 7 nights at Grecotel Eva Palace

5Stars, Bed & Breakfast, from  £552.00

Airport parking at Stansted Airport Long Stay £39.09 or Meet & Greet  £59.99


Why not opt for a radical change of your environment and plunge into the everlasting summer of Morocco? Not only will you obtain excellent benefits and appreciate the welcoming Moroccans; you will also enjoy the pictoresque markets – and maybe even shop some presents for the Holidays.


MoroccoDeparture 6 Oct. 2015

Round-Trip Flight + 7 nights at Hotel La Tichka

4Stars, Bed & Breakfast, from  £421.99

Airport parking at Stansted Airport Long Stay £43.34 or Meet & Greet  £67.49

So are you ready to book your next holiday?  These are just some few examples of the many available options to spend an unforgettable vacation at amazing prices.

You can find many more offers at prices reduced by 30% and more to Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey… just check with the official website of London Stansted Airport, you will be amazed about the rich variety of offers. And don’t forget to pre-book your parking at the same time, you might obtain even better prices…

Once you have decided where to enjoy warm summer days in September or October, book your vacation, book your parking at Stansted long-stay airport, or choose the comfortable “Meet & Greet” option for just a little bit more – and get ready for a new adventure! Your car will be waiting for you, secured and cared for, and will drive you and your Family home once you come back from your journey.

London Southend Airport Car Parking

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London southend AIRPORT PARKING –

a low-fee airport parking at a cosy airport

London Southend Airport may be less known internationally, but this airport is treasured locally. While it was the third-busiest airport around London in the 1650’s, Southend has lost some of its previous importance; however, this newly renovated and cosy airport is highly appreciated by the almost 1 million passengers who flew from it in 2014. Instead of the huge halls of larger airports, Southend has cosy cafés, a friendly service and fast check-in and security procedures. Travellers are mainly couples and families, as Southend offers low-price to very cheap vacation or city-visit destinations to Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Croatia and Slovenia – and many new destinations are added every year.

An opportunity for low-cost flights…

An opportunity for low-cost flightsFrom Southend you may take a 3-day round trip to  Dublin for around £40 only! To most European destinations you can find round trip flights from £125 to £200, and even one week or two week vacation flights to certain destinations for under £250!. And if you are available for a trip anytime and have the leisure to search on the Internet, you may find tickets with up to 75% reduction!  So why not fly from London Southend? Even informed business travellers may reduce their costs by flying directly to their European destination from Southend.


European destination from SouthendIf you enjoy short trips, to change your environment within hours, or like discovering charming European cities, you definitely should have a look at the flights leaving from London Southend. And if you would like to visit London from other countries, a good choice may be as well to land in Southend.

…And cheap parking fees!

That being said, Southend Airport also offers a further advantage: the airport car parks are very close to the terminal, secure and well organized, and the best part is that they are the cheapest of any other major London airport. London Southend is located just 40 miles South-East from the centre of London, and is easily accessible by car.

heap parking fees

London southend short-stay parking

The short-stay parking at London Southend Airport is located just opposite to the terminal, so you can conveniently walk to the entrance – even with family, small children, or many heavy suitcases. Specially marked and easily accessible slots are also available for people with disabilities.


The first 5 minutes of parking are free of charge, so that you can easily drop off leaving passengers or collect them at their arrival.

The prices for this parking are competitive. Below are the regular prices, valid if you just drive up to the parking. If you book on-line in advance, you may obtain interesting price reductions.


First 5 minutes FREE
6 – 30 mins £2.50
30 mins – 1 hr £4.50
1 – 3 hrs £6.00
3 – 6 hrs £13.00
6 – 24 hrs £15.00

The parking is limited to one visit per day per vehicle.



London southend Airport Long Stay parking

The large safe and secured long-stay parking is also located close to the terminal entrance, and doesn’t need shuttle buses. You can just walk to the terminal and check in.


And best of all, there is just one attractive flat-rate per day or every part thereof: every day will cost you only £10.00. And here again, you can obtain a discount by booking in advance.


With those attractive prices, the London Southend Airport parks are also ideally suited for people coming to London by car, but want to leave it at a secure place while they are visiting the town. You can be assured that your car is in good hands while you tour the amazing attractions of London; just leave your car at the parking, and take the train at Southend Airport to the centre of London. Enjoy your visit!


What you can do at the airport

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How to spend the time you are waiting at the airport

In order to provide organized and secure flights for the millions of travellers passing through the World’s airports every year, passengers are asked to arrive at the airport two or three hours before their flight takes off. Transfers between one flight and the other also may last several hours. If passengers didn’t mentally prepare themselves for this waiting time, it can be quite frustrating to wait for several hours after having checked in and passed security checks..
There are additional challenges if you are travelling with children, as you have to keep them busy.

What you can do at the airportFortunately, many airports are prepared for these events, and offer a wide range of services, entertainment, shopping opportunities and cafés or restaurants you can access during your waiting time. Just be careful not to miss your flight….

Visit an art gallery…

Let’s have a look at the many ways Heathrow Airport is offering relaxation and entertainment to their passengers while they are waiting for their flight.

Heathrow Airport displays one of the World’s only on-airport art galleries at Terminal 5. An ideal opportunity to discover the variety of artwork by renowned artists, and also produced by young artists starting their career. At the Art Gallery your time will go by in a fly…

Relaxation and massage!

How about relaxation, massage, make-up and even manicure? At all Heathrow Airport terminals – and in many international airports – you can get a fast or more extensive massage to relax your muscles before flight. And if you want to look like a movie star, you can even have a specialist giving you make-up and manicure. If you are a man, you might prefer to get your shoes shined… a free service is provided. And the best, these astounding services are free of charge….

Some airports even offer a yoga studio, fitness equipment or ping-pong tables – Relaxation and massage!at Singapore Airport you can find a swimming pool and Jacuzzi. While you can go ice-skating at South Korea’s Seoul Airport, Hong Kong’s airport even offers an on-airport golf course! You may use your spare time to get common vaccinations – like flu vaccination; you may even have your teeth whitened.  So get a health shot…

While Dubai Airport impresses through its wonderful inner decoration, if you travel through Kuala Lumpur you can visit the rainforest – right inside the airport!

Have a nap!

Have a nap at airportTravelling is tiring, especially if you travel through long distances. You may get a solution even to that problem. Many airports now offer comfortable seats, in which you can relax or have a nap. At Heathrow Terminal 3, you can even rent a small Yotel room (for a minimum period of 3 hours), but only during daytime.

Go shopping

Go shoppingYou may also like to go shopping in the luxury duty-free shops, or just have a look at the many items around. Think about loved ones, friends and colleagues to whom you could bring a souvenir from your trip… You could even give some to people at the hotels or places you visit! They will be delighted…

Or play games

Why not choose to play a game. If you travel with other people, a card game, board game or guessing game may be fun, even more so if children travel with you. Some airports also offer gaming stations – for free. What about a “flash mob?” These flash assemblies of people at a certain point of the airport – often performing a short theatrical movement and quickly dissolving – is an amusing way to distract the crowds. Why not be delighted by a “flash mob” done – let’s say – by beautiful stewardesses? You may even participate in one… And can you guess what Las Vegas Airport offers to its travellers? A casino with slot machines of course!

Yes, of course, you are at a busy airport. There are several coffee shops at Heathrow giving you a view on the runways. Don’t miss that exceptional opportunity…

Maybe you feel hungry (or thirsty) and planned to fill your waiting time having a good dish or sitting at the bar.

Another entertaining activity is to observe people from all-over the World passing by. Try to guess where they are from, or observe their clothing and behaviour – you may guess something about their culture, or try to imagine their personal story, their profession, and the aim of their travel… This is also a fun activity if you travel with children, and gives you the opportunity to teach them something about other regions of the World.

Entertain your children

Entertain your childrenAs a similar activity, you may look at the departure board and locate the many towns that appear. Did you know all of them? If not, you can look them up through the Internet. This as well is a curious activity to practice with your accompanying children. Similarly, you can take a seat overlooking the airplane traffic and let them guess the various 50 thingsplane types. By the way, there are some excellent books to keep children busy during your journey (but you might have to buy them beforehand). You can order them online through the following link:

airports also offer a supervised

Some airports also offer a supervised play area for young children.

Are you travelling alone? That may be an opportunity to know new people… If you spot another lonely traveller, you can start a conversation with a friendly “Hello”. You might meet interesting people, and possibly even become friends!

If you still hesitate, you can just use your smart phone or tablet to surf the web – most international airports offer free Wi-Fi connections. Or use your time to read a book or a newspaper, maybe you don’t benefit often from this opportunity.

Take a city tour…

You may have a long transit time until your connecting flight; but don’t be desperate, you may even participate in a city tour! This wonderful idea has been turned into reality by Utah, Istanbul and Singapore airports; they offer a free visit of their city in their own buses for passengers in transit through their place. Singapore even offers a day- and a night-tour… Not only is it an ideal means of entertaining their travellers, they might easily be convinced to come back to their town next time!

Great future!

Singapore’s Changi Airport also stuns its passengers with a 4-storey slide, a cactus garden, a butterfly garden with more than 1000 species, a free cinema as well as free computers and famous TV program displays. A new feature is LG’s “Social Tree”, a large round screen with consoles all around where people can “video chat” in real time. And that’s not all! The airport plans a new glass-covered 134’000 square meter complex, with gardens, shopping and restaurants – but the main attraction will be a 40 meters high water fountain, which will feature laser light illumination and synchronized light and sound shows! This fabulous attraction should open in 2018.

With all these activities you can do at the World’s airports, you will even regret the waiting time until you board your next flight is not longer….

The life of an airline pilot

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Working as an airline pilot – is it a dream job?


You drove to a London airport with your family, parked your car choosing one of the many airport parking options, and walk into the terminal, be it to fly to your vacation destination – or to offer your family a nice and enriching day out in the thriving airport atmosphere.


Among the many people from all different regions and cultures of the World mixing in the hall, you notice one man in a perfectly tidy uniform, discerning himself from all the people around him. Why? He is a pilot. He personifies the dream I was playing and replaying in my mind in all shapes, colours and variations when I was an adolescent. I peek at my 15-years old son – and see him staring at the pilot with a glimmer in his eyes. I see what is going on in his mind – he is dreaming of becoming a pilot… Even my 12-years old daughter seems to be fascinated by this man – she sees him as a hero, a man who achieved the impossible, admired and coveted by everybody.


But is piloting an airline jet really a dream job? Flying certainly is one of the oldest ambitions of mankind. Who has been flying, even only once in his or her life, usually longs for taking the air again. And whose aspiration is to look at the beauty of our planet from above – and feel the sensation of freedom and excitement the birds made their own – will never stop looking to the sky wishing to be there. That’s why piloting an airline jet is certainly a fascinating activity.

Mental and financial efforts required

But being a professional pilot implies much more than just the “flying” part. It requires huge efforts – both mental and financial – just in preliminary studies and training. Aspiring pilots should complete a 4-years study, preferably in aviation management, aviation technology and aircraft engineering that are combined with ‘pilot studies’ or other studies providing a good understanding of mathematics and physics.

After completion of the university or college studies, the contender will have to Mental and financial effortsobtain an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). If he (or she) can afford an integrated course, it will last about 18 months – and cost between £80’000 and 90’000. The student may also obtain the licence in a modulated course, allowing him – or her – to work and contribute to the costs.

That’s when the aspiring pilot can finally start flying (unless he or she could afford flying lessons before that) – and fully concentrate on the many skills, constraints and requirements that are needed to fly a commercial airplane.  Beside the prerequisite of excellent knowledge in mathematics, physics, technical an basic engineering, a flawless physical and mental health and sight, the future pilot will also need to demonstrate an outstanding spatial awareness and young pilots desiringcoordination, English language and communication skills, the aptitude to think quickly and make decisions, team-working and leadership skills, and the ability to remain calm under pressure and keep control under difficult circumstances.  There are also essential character traits a pilot must ascertain; inflexible discipline, self-confidence and commitment, and the awareness of the huge responsibilities he (or she) will be bearing. – In addition to a lot of patience.

Can our young pilot finally take the commands of a passenger airliner? No, not yet. Now he or she has to accumulate full 1500 hours of practice to be recognized as a captain – in the form of flight hours. According to his or her progress, the new pilot may find an employment as first officer, and later be promoted to senior first officer.   Beside the huge amount of hours they have to accumulate, the young pilots desiring to apply for a promotion as captain need to complete another intensive training course. When the need for commercial pilots is big, airline companies may agree with a newly licensed pilot and  give him or her the opportunity to fly as much as possible (of course, together with operating crew) , but often at a low wage. Others try to accumulate flying hours by flying small planes, agricultural or fire-extinguishing planes, cargo planes etc.).

Finally a captain…

Let’s say our young pilot – after renouncing on so many activities young people usually appreciate – finally advanced to the prestigious position of captain, andFinally a captai from an average salary to a more attractive remuneration.  So are the constraints finally over? No, they even become harsher. The captain must really love his job to be able to bear them. His responsibility grows; every smallest error or mishap could be used against him. If he flies long-haul flights, he will be away from his home for half to three quarters of the month. That’s especially hard to bear if the pilot has a family, and must renounce on many family events. He will change time zones and climates as well as food habits several times in a week. Furthermore, he will have to sleep at hotels which are not always comfortable. Pilots say they are “living out of a suitcase”… And next day, they will be in charge of another flight that may challenge them to cross stormy clouds or lead them from a burning sun to snow-covered landscapes.

However, what pilots criticize most is the fact that since the last twenty years – with the boom of low-fare airlines – wages, benefits and services to the flying staff all diminished. Moreover, if a senior first officer or captain want to apply for another airline, their career might not be recognized and they have to start the whole career program again.

So is the position of airline pilot really the dream job we imagine? If he loves flying, loves being at the command of the wonderful flying machine that is an airliner, and appreciates the opportunity of discovering the World – country by country, city by city, culture by culture – than the pleasure, excitement and thrill of being in the air – observing the wonderful land and sea formations, flying through the clouds, into sunrise and sunset – and the prestige and admiration people award him, reward him for his sacrifices.

Now, when you join your children in the airport cafeteria in observing the planes on the tarmac, you can tell them what the life of an airline pilot looks like. And you can explain them what efforts, Endeavour and struggle they have to wage if they want to become airline pilots. If they are still convinced they want to achieve their dream, definitely encourage them. There is nothing more fascinating than flying!

Comparing London airport car parking

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We agree, the airport car parking is probably not the first thing you think about when you plan a journey. However, it has its significance. As you need to be sure your money is secured in a safe while you are away – protected from anything that could harm it, so you want your car as well to be protected and secured so that you will find it ready to drive you home when you return. That’s why including the airport car park into your planning is important. Furthermore, if you book your parking in advance you will be sure to find a parking space – and you will even obtain price reductions.

If you travel for business, you may pay more attention to the convenience, proximity to the terminal or the option of having your car parked for you by a specialized service. This will save precious time and set you free to perform more urgent tasks. A business traveller may also opt for the most expedient airport to take off to his destination in the first place.

Leisure travellers however take their time to arrange their holidays;holidayparking vacation planning is part of the joy and excitement they feel even before their actual voyage and it is usually a favourite discussion subject within the family. While arranging their holiday, they are more likely to compare the various options and prices offered by London’s five largest airports. Except if they want to travel to far locations – in which case they will probably fly from Heathrow Airport, they have a large choice of holiday packages offered by the other airports that focus more on Europe- and North Africa-bound vacations. Usually, the airports hosting low-price airlines also provide price worthy parking options, and some even offer special holiday bargains.

Anyway, it is not crucial that you be flying in order to drive to the airport. You stimulating internationalmay wish to go to the airport with your family as a week-end recreational trip, for a change from your daily environment, to experience the stimulating international environment in this busy crossing point, to eat out… or to let your children take amazing pictures of the various airplanes landing and taking off. It will be a highly enjoyable outing for the whole family.

London airport Parking prices one week, one day or 5 hours

To get a general idea of the prices of London’s Airport Parking, we selected a random week in summer 2015, a random full day and a 5 hours’ stay. As prices slightly vary according to the day of the week, season and month of the year, they are to be considered as indicative only; you should search for the right option through the Internet by yourselves once you know your travel dates and time.

Heathrow Airport:


Option OfficialShort Stay











OfficialMeet & Greet










Drop & Ride Parking
Distance 3 – 4 min. 7 – 15 min. 5 – 8 min. 4 min. 2 – 3 min. 1 – 2 min. 20 min. 5 – 13 min. 7 – 15 min.
1 week £136.10 £81.70 –£89.50 £99.30 –£103.45 £109.00 £150.50 £85.45 £66.95 £49.99-£51.99
1 day £53.90 £24.50 -£25.50 £25.95 £31.90 £75.00 £85.00 £14.95 £22.95
5 hours £21.00 £24.50 -£25.50 £25.90 £31.90 £75.00 £85.00 £14.95 £22.95

Gatwick Airport:


Option OfficialLong Stay


OfficialShort Stay Premium


Meet & GreetParking

(various providers)

Meet & GreetParking

With car wash

Valet Parking Long Stay PurpleParking


Summer SpecialParking
Distance 5 min. 2 min. 2 – 4 min 4 min. 1 – 2 min. 15  min. 10 min.
1 week £74.00 ·         £247.00 £94.99-£140.00 £118.94 £99.00£123.00 £63.99 £68.00
1 day £17.00 £52.00 £58.99 £84.44 £52.00 £16.99
5 hours £17.00 £46.49 £52.00 £16.99


  Stansted Airport


 Stansted Airport:


Option OfficialLong Stay


OfficialMid Stay Parking Official Short Stay Orange Parking Official Short Stay Green Parking Official Short Stay Red Parking Official Meet & GreetParking Official Valet ParkingWith security fast track Jet Parks
Distance 10 min. 5 min. 3 min 7 min. 2 min. 2  min. 1 min. 15 min.
1 week £45.99 £52.99 £94.99-£140.00 £59.99


£67.99 £67.99 £39.99
1 day £39.99 £41.99 £58.99 £49.99 £57.99 £69.99 £69.99
5 hours £20.99 £46.49 £35.99 £36.99 £59.99 £59.99


Luton Airport:


Option OfficialLong Term


OfficialMid Term Parking Official Short Term Parking Official Meet & Greet Priority Parking Swift Meet & Greet Parking Official Meet & GreetParking Airparks Drop & Go Airparks Drop & GoNon-Flexible
Distance 10 min. 5 min. 3 min 2  min. 2 min. 2  min. 13  min. 13 min.
1 week £63.49 £77.49 £145.49 £125.49 £110.00 £67.99 £62.99 £59.99
1 day £20.99 £24.99 £46.99 £.52.49 £80.00 £69.99 £55.99 £52.99
5 hours £15.49 £17.49 £25.99 £41.99 £75.00 £59.99 £55.99 £52.99


London City Airport


Option OfficialTerminal Short Stay


OfficialLong Stay Parking Official Business Meet & GreetParking Butterfly Meet & Greet Parking  
Distance 1 – 2  min. 2 – 5 min. 1 min 2  min.
1 week £308.00 £166.00 £166.00
1 day £50.00 £35.00 £35.00 £59.00
5 hours £166.00 £40.00




As we can see, the prices for priority services – Valet as well as “Meet & Greet” parking – are in the same category no matter which airport you choose. Anyone luggage and drive homewho is in a hurry, who needs to manage his or her time, who travels with children or elderly people, or who needs the convenience of being able to drop his or her luggage close to the entrance of the airport, will certainly appreciate these privileged services. You drive to a specially designated place close to the terminal, and leave your car to a professional driver who will park it on a secured space for you. When you come back from your journey, your car will be brought to you so that you can easily load your luggage and drive home – or to your office. There are several companies offering this kind of service, so you may find varying prices.  While you search for the appropriate option through the booking form on the Internet, you will also find a rating given by former customers to the respective services. This may further help you select the best option.

In general, long-stay parking options are cheaper than short-stay parking lots, as they are located farther away from the airport and require a shuttle service to take you to the airport. If you select this option, don’t forget to secure some additional time to wait for the shuttle – and include the transfer time into you planning.

The terms “short-stay”, “mid-stay” and “long-stay” don’t effectively relate to the time-span in which you want to keep your car at the airport. They rather refer to happy holidaythe distance of the parking from the entrance of the airport, and consequently to the price scale. If you prefer the comfort of driving to the parking closest to your terminal – which is usually the short-stay parking – you may well leave your car there for an extended period of time. On the other hand, if you decide to visit the airport with your family as an entertaining week-end outing, you may benefit from the lower price of the long-stay parking and leave your car there during the whole day for a low fee.

Beside the general considerations, we see that parking prices at airports that are more focused on low-tariff flights and vacations are lower. If you are arranging your holiday, it is therefore a good idea to compare the long-stay prices of the airport parking – together with the holiday packages flying from that airport – and to select the best combined offer.

We wish you a nice and happy holiday, with the peace of mind that your car is in secure hands and good care…

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