Paris Air Show

Farnborough spiffing up for ’08 event

 - June 20, 2007, 10:12 AM

Good news for any aerospace exhibitor who ever complained about the infrastructure or utility services available at the Farnborough Air Show: organizer Farnborough International (Hall 2B, Stand 14B) is spending almost $2 million to improve existing and create new facilities at the site, about an hour’s drive southwest of London. There also may be improved arrangements for business aircraft.

Next year’s event, claimed to be the world’s “most iconic” such exhibition and flying display, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Britain’s first powered flight (by American Samuel Cody) and will mark the event’s own 60th anniversary at the site, with a flypast covering the history of flight, including aircraft that appeared at the 1948 show.

Farnborough International (FI) said the show, scheduled for July 14 to 20, will involve a series of “exceptional innovations” following “sustained and significant investment and development in the show and its infrastructure.” The organizer plans to improve utility services, including power-supply networks.

Site access routes are being improved, with resurfaced roads and wider pedestrian walkways before Hall 1. A $10 million north-south link road planned to cross the aerodrome to the business park (being paid for by the business park) gives FI the chance to review its traffic management and southside site access. There will be increased capacity and space at an improved show contractors’ area.

FI is creating “opportunities for furthering business aircraft parking” and is seeking permission to construct “a number of permanent hard-standing areas” for such parking.

Next year also will see upgraded air conditioning in all exhibition halls. To improve remaining show-site power supplies, FI will run chalet air-conditioning supplies from generators.

Water supply is being improved to Hall 1A, the Finmeccanica area, and Chalet rows D, J and L. Row J drainage is to be renewed. FI also is considering installation of Internet protocol telephony.

In addition, some high-voltage transformers and switchgear are being replaced and larger cabling introduced to about 70 percent of the show’s ring main. Switchroom low-voltage switchgear is being replaced. FI will renew other parts of the network by 2010.