Farnborough International is continuing the Business Aircraft Park (BAP) concept first introduced as a three-day “show within a show” four years ago. This gives business aircraft exhibitors the flexibility to withdraw aircraft after the first three trade days of the seven-day event. However, manufacturers can keep their aircraft on display for the duration of the show if they prefer. The goal is to help exhibitors who need to get aircraft back into service with their customers.
According to Farnborough International, the BAP generated some $550 million in sales at the FI2006 show. Although all BAP chalets have been allocated, Farnborough International has been trying to accommodate late bookings. “There is still space for aircraft. We always try to fit everyone in,” said Philippa Ewart, the show’s head of marketing.
One concrete example of Farnborough International’s continued investment in the show infrastructure is the construction of permanent hard-standing aircraft-parking “pads” near the BAP hospitality area and the adjoining chalets. In addition, a specially developed aviation trackway is being laid and will accommodate as many as six aircraft up to the size and weight of an Airbus Corporate Jetliner or Boeing Business Jet.
BAP exhibitors also have clearance to perform customer demonstration flights after each day’s flying display is complete. There will be a dedicated reception building for the park with provision for exhibitor meetings. Exhibitors also will be able to have a small information display next to their aircraft.
The newly extended BAP is located toward the west end of the static-aircraft display area, close to Chalet Row J and within good view of Row A. French manufacturer Dassault Aviation, which was formerly housed in the (northeast facing) Row K, will take the first two of the 10 Row J chalets. TAG Aviation and Hawker Beechcraft are also in that row.
Gulfstream has already booked display space, while Grob and Avions de Transport Regional are new participants in the business aircraft area. ATR will occupy two aircraft pads and a chalet at the end of Row K, while Grob will be in Row A.
Business aircraft makers don’t have to restrict themselves to the BAP at Farnborough. For example, Bombardier has retained its chalet in Row C and will also have a new panoramic structured building near its traditional aircraft position in the main static aircraft line. Cessna, which returned to Farnborough in 2006 after a break in participation, will be elsewhere.
The Business Aircraft Park will be open for six hours from 10 a.m. on July 14 (the event’s opening day) and for eight hours beginning at 9:30 a.m. the following two days.