If you’ve been caught-up in Le Bourget’s traffic jams this week, maybe suffered from over-zealous security checks, or perhaps tried to hold a briefing during the noisier moments of the flying display, console yourself with the thought that it’s a mere 13 months until the 2008 Farnborough International Airshow (FIA).

Although the themes of FIA are history, celebration and the commemoration of ground-breaking and exceptional achievements in aviation, it’s the major improvements to the site’s infrastructure that will most interest exhibitors – and dare we say it, journalists – at Farnborough 2008.

The power-cuts that bedevilled the show in 2006 – cutting lighting and air-conditioning to some of the chalets with monotonous regularity – should be a thing of the past as much work has been done on both the low and high voltage networks. 

Along with new cabling around much of the site, the organisers have upgraded the air-con in all the exhibition halls and arranged for generators to power the chalet cooling system.  “This” the organisers say “should improve the overall reliability and robustness of the remaining power supplies on site”.

Another bone of contention – like in Paris – has been access routes to the Hampshire site and these “either already have been or are about to be improved”. The road in front of hall 1 has been re-surfaced and the pavement width increased to give more room for pedestrians and to facilitate both access and visitor flow.

The water supply has also been upgraded where there were problems in the past, especially the area around hall 1a, the Finmeccanica area and the row L chalets. Drainage on the airfield has also received attention since the last show while the organisers are looking at the possibility of installing an entirely new IP telephone system.

But perhaps most important of all, around £5-million is being invested in building a new north/south link road to the nearby Farnborough business park and this will enable FIA’s organisers to review traffic management and access to the site.  

Visitors’ on-line experience has also been enhanced with the launch of the 2008 FIA website www.farnborough.com. This will offer exhibitors, trade delegates and public visitors a fully comprehensive source of information about all aspects of the show.

The organisers say “the website will retain familiar features from previous years but it has been fully-updated to reflect all the innovations and themes for 2008. We intend it to be the essential first port of call for our customers and an invaluable one-stop-shop.”

Source: Flight Daily News