Next year’s 60th anniversary Farnborough Airshow should be a record-breaker, according to organizers Farnborough International (Stand W106). Sales are at the highest level ever seen at this stage in the biennial cycle, the company said, and exhibitors’ plans are correspondingly ambitious.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise sponsored last year’s show, and Dubai’s own airshow is important for meeting prospective exhibitors, said FI exhibitions and events director Amanda Stainer. “The Farnborough sales team has already had good meetings with the embassies of Jordan, Oman and Qatar, and has a series of high level meetings lined up for the show to finalize agreements with key exhibitors and potential sponsors.”
Exhibitors can look forward to an improved show site. A nearly complete multi million dollar redevelopment includes the creation of Farnborough International Venue and Events (Five), a permanent events venue due to open for business next month, and a new link road along the eastern edge of the site which is scheduled for completion in January.
The demolition early next year of FI’s own site office will open up a prime new exhibition location for the airshow. Work on a new office has already started, and event staff expect to be sitting at their new desks by Christmas.
A series of special activities will celebrate the show’s diamond anniversary in 2008. There will be themed activities in the exhibition halls on the public days (July 19 and 20), when the flying display will feature 14 aircraft that flew in Farnborough’s first show in 1948.
Next year is also the 100th anniversary of the first sustained flight in the UK, made by Samuel Cody from the Farnborough airfield, and a replica of his airplane, the Cody Flyer, is currently being built at the aerodrome to help celebrate his achievement.
Business aircraft park to be bigger and better
Last year’s Farnborough International Airshow saw the announcement of $550 million in business aviation orders, and the show’s business aviation park is being expanded to accommodate more aircraft next year.
The heliport has been moved, making the park a smoother operation with more space, the area around it has been landscaped, and there is now a straight drive into the exhibition area.
And to help exhibitors offer demonstration flights to potential customers, the business aviation park is planned so that as many as 50 aircraft can be arranged for ingress and egress with minimum disruption. Individual aircraft are positioned to be autonomous, so that customers can board easily and the airplane powered up readily.