Farnborough Airshow Venue To Get £25 Million Makeover

 - June 19, 2013, 8:30 AM
A two-phase upgrade to the Farnborough International Airshow site will see, first, a permanent chalet row, followed by a permanent exhibit hall. Phase 1 should be completed in time for next year’s show. Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in time for the 2016 event.

The Farnborough International Airshow facilities will soon see almost £25 million in upgrades that Gerald Howarth, a UK Member of Parliament, said are a “real step-change forward that demonstrates a commitment to having the premier venue for airshows.” Announced yesterday here in Paris, the facilities upgrade will be done in two phases–the first of which includes building a permanent Chalet Row A and the latter of which involves erecting a permanent Hall 1.

According to Shaun Ormrod, CEO of show organizer Farnborough International (at the Paris Air Show in Hall 2b F146), the £2.5 million Phase 1 project, to be completed before next year’s airshow, will result in more–and roomier–chalets that are easier and less expensive to outfit for exhibitors. The permanent chalets will also have new utility infrastructure (power, water, sewer, Internet and so on) and will come with dedicated parking spaces, he added. All of the new chalets will have flat-roof structures that will improve the line-of-sight for the Row B chalets.

Ormrod said the £22 million, 18-month second phase will commence immediately after the conclusion of next year’s show, so that the new 25,000-sq-m Hall 1 will be in place in time for Farnborough 2016. This next hall will be “mixed use,” he said, meaning it will house exhibitors, conference rooms and seminars.

More upgrades to the Farnborough Airshow site are possible, but nothing beyond these two phases has been definitely planned, Ormrod said. “We expect the new chalets to spark debate about Chalet Row B upgrades at the show next year,” he told AIN. “We’re happy to have that conversation.”

In other news, Farnborough International announced yesterday that it will introduce a general aviation park at next year’s airshow. The GA park will “showcase the latest in private and recreational flying and hopes to attract all the leading aircraft and helicopter manufacturers and distributors in this category.” GA park exhibitors can participate during the weekend public event or for a full seven days, incorporating the five-day Farnborough Airshow trade event.