TAG Farnborough is expecting another record year for movements in 2019, on the back of rising demand for the UK's only dedicated business aviation airport, situated about 35 miles (56km) southwest of London.
Around 32,000 take-offs and landings are forecast for the 12 months ending 31 December, up from 30,700 movements recorded last year, and 27,000 in 2017.
TAG Farnborough chief executive Brandon O’Reilly says the additional traffic will partly be generated by the six-month closure – from 15 April – of RAF Northolt for runway renovation. The UK Ministry of Defence-controlled site is the fourth-largest airport in the London area for business aviation traffic.
"We also expect to see a rise in the number of Gulfstream aircraft arriving at the site from London Luton airport [which is now at capacity] for maintenance," says O’Reilly.
Gulfstream opened the temporary line maintenance facility in April, to take pressure off the Luton MRO base. It will transition the interim operation to a new 20,400sq m (220,000sq ft) service centre at the airport, on which it broke ground in early May. The facility is scheduled to open in June 2020.
TAG Farnborough played host on Saturday 18 May to the Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels conference and O'Reilly is keen for the airport to be the first in Europe to offer sustainable fuel for its customers. He says the gateway is serious about its environmental credentials, having become the first business aviation facility in the world to be awarded carbon-neutral status. The accolade, given in July 2018, followed a 10-year programme dedicated to raising its sustainability.
"We have plenty of capacity within our fuel farm to add some extra tanks for SAJF and will be very happy to invest in the infrastructure when we are confident there is consistent availability and the product is at a price that the market can bear," says O’Reilly.