TAG Farnborough Airport (Booth W33) saw 27,000 movements last year, “the most in 10 years,” according to TAG Farnborough Airport CEO Brandon O’Reilly. “We were up around 20 percent, in January-to-mid-May compared to the same period last year,” he told AIN.
Intermittent closures at RAF Northolt, north of Heathrow, has driven traffic to Farnborough, as have poor slot availability at London Luton and the effect of Brexit, bringing in “entrepreneurs looking for opportunities through change,” he said. O’Reilly believes Farnborough “could hit 30,000” movements this year.
He is “very pleased” that Gulfstream has elected to establish a new service center at the London-area airport (see page 24). To make space for the new hangar, O’Reilly said, “We’ll knock down the big black shed” where Gama Aviation currently maintains King Airs. "Then Gulfstream will break ground in April 2019 and complete the facility by July 2020." Gama recently announced it would move its maintenance operations to Bournemouth Airport.
Meanwhile, the UK CAA decision on the airspace change proposal to replace the Class G airspace around Farnborough with Class D “is expected within days" and could bring significant operational and environmental benefits, O'Reilly said.