Farnborough Airfield
Farnborough Airport or TAG London Farnborough Airport (previously called RAE Farnborough, ICAO Code EGUF) is an airport situated in Farnborough
Farnborough, Hampshire
-History:Name changes: Ferneberga ; Farnburghe, Farenberg ; Farnborowe, Fremborough, Fameborough .Tower Hill, Cove: There is substantial evidence...

, Rushmoor
Rushmoor is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. It covers the towns of Aldershot and Farnborough.It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Aldershot and the Farnborough urban district....

, Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The 310 hectares (766 acre) airport covers about 8% of Rushmoor's land area.

Farnborough Aerodrome has a CAA
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority
The Civil Aviation Authority is the public corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of aviation in the United Kingdom. The CAA head office is located in the CAA House on Kingsway in Holborn, London Borough of Camden...

 Ordinary Licence (Number P864) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (TAG Farnborough Airport Limited).

The airfield is the home of the Farnborough Airshow which takes place on even numbered years. It is also home to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Air Accidents Investigation Branch
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigates air accidents in the United Kingdom. It is a branch of the Department for Transport and is based on the grounds of Farnborough Airport near Aldershot, Rushmoor, Hampshire.-History:...

, part of the Department for Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...



Farnborough Airport has a long history of involvement with aviation in the UK, beginning in 1908 with the creation of His Majesty's Balloon Factory. This subsequently became the Royal Aircraft Establishment
Royal Aircraft Establishment
The Royal Aircraft Establishment , was a British research establishment, known by several different names during its history, that eventually came under the aegis of the UK Ministry of Defence , before finally losing its identity in mergers with other institutions.The first site was at Farnborough...

, a connection which continues in the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust
Farnborough Air Sciences Trust
The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust museum holds a collection of aircraft, wind tunnel and Royal Aircraft Establishment related material. It is based in Farnborough, Hampshire immediately adjacent to Farnborough Airfield....


The civil enclave was operated by Farnborough Business Aviation until 2003, when the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 stopped operations at Farnborough and was taken over by TAG Aviation, who now operate the airport.

In 2003 a new business aviation airport was established, with all experimental aircraft moved to Boscombe Down. Commercial defence research continues to be carried out in the adjunct Cody
Samuel Cody
Samuel Franklin Cowdery was born in Birdville, Texas, USA. He was an early pioneer of manned flight, most famous for his work on the large kites known as Cody War-Kites that were used in World War I as a smaller alternative to balloons for artillery spotting...

 Technology Park by research firm QinetiQ
Qinetiq is a British global defence technology company, formed from the greater part of the former UK government agency, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency , when it was split up in June 2001...


Farnborough Airfield appeared in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace, as the Austrian airport Bond flies from.

The airfield was also a location used in the 2010 film, "Inception".


After TAG took control of the airport from the MOD, it invested in a series of new infrastructure projects, including a new radar unit and a resurfaced runway. The most striking development was the construction of a new control tower, a large hangar unit, and finally a brand new terminal building that opened in 2006, all designed by Reid Architecture and Buro Happold
Buro Happold
Buro Happold is a professional services firm providing engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of buildings, infrastructure and the environment, with its head office in Bath, Somerset...

. The designs won local admiration and a series of awards, and were nominated for Building of the Year by Building Magazine
Building (magazine)
Building is one of the United Kingdom’s oldest business-to-business magazines, launched as The Builder in 1843 by Joseph Aloysius Hansom – architect of Birmingham Town Hall and designer of the Hansom Cab. The journal was renamed Building in 1966 as it is still known today. Building is the only UK...

 in 2007. The Terminal was officially opened by HRH Prince Andrew.


TAG Aviation are a multinational business aviation operator, with aircraft based in Farnborough, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, and Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

. Business aviation flying has grown from a low level in 1989 to around 19,000 movements in 2005.
The airport is home to a number of the UK's largest business jet companies, including Gama Aviation
Gama Aviation
Gama Aviation Limited is an executive airline based at Farnborough Airport in the United Kingdom. It operates business jet aircraft for charter, as well as offering aircraft management services worldwide....

 Executive Jet Charter and Bookajet
Bookajet is a British aircraft charter and management company based at Farnborough Airport.Bookajet Limited holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type B Operating Licence, permitting it to carry passengers, cargo, and mail on aircraft with fewer than 20 seats and/or weighing less than 10...


Farnborough Airport sees the bulk of its traffic from conventional business jets, such as the Cessna Citation
Cessna Citation
The Cessna Citation is a marketing name used by Cessna for its line of business jets. Rather than one particular model of aircraft, the name applies to several "families" of turbofan-powered aircraft that have been produced over the years...

, the Gulfstream
Gulfstream Aerospace
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation is a producer of several models of jet aircraft. Gulfstream has been a unit of General Dynamics since 1999.The company has produced more than 1,500 aircraft for corporate, government, private, and military customers around the world...

, the Dassault Falcon
Dassault Falcon
The Dassault Falcon is a family of business jets, manufactured by Dassault Aviation.Aircraft include:* Dassault Falcon 10 Scaled down Falcon 20...

, the Learjet, the Bombardier Challenger
Bombardier Challenger
The Challenger is a family of mid-sized business jets produced by Canadair, and later by Bombardier Aerospace.Aircraft include:* Bombardier Challenger 600 the original series; includes the CL-600, CL-601, CL-604, and CL-605...

, the Bombardier Global 5000, the Bombardier Global XRS and the BAe 125. The airport is also popular with operators of larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 and Airbus A319 -- however, the use of these types is heavily restricted, with nothing larger than a 737-800 permitted except during the airshow.

The only scheduled services the airport sees is that operated by BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

, the headquarters of which is adjacent to the airport. BAE operate a BAe 146
BAe 146
The British Aerospace 146 is a medium-sized commercial airliner formerly manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace, later part of BAE Systems. Production ran from 1983 until 2002. Manufacture of an improved version known as the Avro RJ began in 1992...

 on a twice daily shuttle service to Warton Aerodrome
Warton Aerodrome
Warton Aerodrome is located near to Warton village on the Fylde in Lancashire, England. The aerodrome is west of Preston, Lancashire, UK.Today the airfield is a major assembly and testing facility of BAE Systems Military Air Solutions....

, and a regular Beechcraft Super King Air
Beechcraft Super King Air
The Beechcraft Super King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation . The King Air line comprises a number of model series that fall into two families: the Model 90 series, Model 100 series , Model 200 series and Model 300 series...

 service to Filton Aerodrome
Filton Aerodrome
Bristol Filton Airport or Filton Aerodrome lies on the border between Filton and Patchway, within South Gloucestershire, north of Bristol, England. The airfield is bounded by the A38 trunk road to the east, the former London to Avonmouth railway line to the south and the Old Filton Bypass road to...

, Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, and Walney Island
Walney Island
The Isle of Walney, also known as Walney Island, is an island in the United Kingdom which lies off the west coast of England, at the northern tip of Morecambe Bay. It forms part of the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness, and it is separated from the mainland at Barrow by Walney Channel, a narrow channel...


The Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Air Accidents Investigation Branch
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigates air accidents in the United Kingdom. It is a branch of the Department for Transport and is based on the grounds of Farnborough Airport near Aldershot, Rushmoor, Hampshire.-History:...

 has its head office in Farnborough House, located in a compound within Farnborough Airport.

Incidents and accidents

During the Farnborough Airshow on 6 September 1952, a de Havilland Sea Vixen
De Havilland Sea Vixen
The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen was a twin boom 1950s–1960s British two-seat jet fighter of the Fleet Air Arm designed by de Havilland. Developed from an earlier first generation jet fighter, the Sea Vixen was a capable carrier-based fleet defence fighter that served into the 1970s...

 crashed. Following a demonstration of its ability to break the sound barrier
Sound barrier
The sound barrier, in aerodynamics, is the point at which an aircraft moves from transonic to supersonic speed. The term, which occasionally has other meanings, came into use during World War II, when a number of aircraft started to encounter the effects of compressibility, a collection of several...

, the aircraft disintegrated
1952 Farnborough Airshow DH.110 crash
The 1952 Farnborough DH.110 crash was an air show accident that killed 29 spectators, the pilot , and the onboard flight test observer when during a manoeuvre, the aircraft broke up due to a faulty wing leading edge design...

, killing 31 people, including the crew of two: test pilot and record breaker John Derry
John Derry
John Douglas Derry DFC was a British test pilot, and was the first Briton to exceed the speed of sound...

 and Tony Richards. This incident led to a major restructuring of the safety regulations for air shows in the UK and since this crash no member of the public has died as a result of an airshow accident in the UK.

During the 4 September 1984 Farnborough Airshow, a de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo
De Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo
The de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo is a short takeoff and landing utility transport, a turboprop aircraft developed from the earlier piston-powered DHC-4 Caribou...

 was damaged beyond repair when it struck Runway 25 during landing after a steep short-final descent while demonstrating its STOL
STOL is an acronym for short take-off and landing, a term used to describe aircraft with very short runway requirements.-Definitions:There is no one accepted definition of STOL and many different definitions have been used by different authorities and nations at various times and for a myriad of...

 capabilities to spectators and customers. The nosegear collapsed, followed by failure of the wing spar on both sides near the fuselage, both propellers shedding blades and the plane skidding to a halt on the runway. The 2 crew and one passenger survived the crash; nobody else was injured. The accident was attributed to pilot error with gusty wind conditions as a major factor.

Opposition to airport expansion

The airport was originally restricted to 28,000 movements each year, of which no more than 2,500 were permitted at weekends. In October 2005, TAG applied to Rushmoor
Rushmoor is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. It covers the towns of Aldershot and Farnborough.It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Aldershot and the Farnborough urban district....

 Borough Council to have the weekend limit raised from 2,500 movements to 5,000 movements. The application was initially refused, but allowed by the Government on appeal in March 2008 after being heard at a Public Inquiry. A further application for an increase in the overall limit to 50,000 movements per annum was refused by Rushmoor Borough Council in 2009 and an appeal against this refusal was heard in May 2010. In February 2011 the joint Secretaries of State decided to uphold the planning appeal and allow an increase in the number of permitted annual movements at the airport to 50,000. The increase in movements will be phased to reach 50,000 in 2019.

Opposition to the business airport has been chronicled by Blackwater Environmental Justice and Farnborough Aerodrome Residents Association (FARA) was formed by the local community to oppose the airport expansion.

Aviation Enthusiast Scheme

As a means of a promoting a closer working relationship with local enthusiasts, Hampshire Police has established Aviation/Airport Watch Scheme.

Membership does not give a person any additional rights over any other member of the public but enables the police to have regular contact with enthusiasts.

External links

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