Farnborough Airport announces record air traffic movements for third consecutive year


Farnborough Airport

Farnborough, 21 January 2020 – Farnborough Airport has announced record air traffic movements for a third consecutive year, surpassing the previous record from 2018 for the highest ever number of total annual movements.

For the full year 2019, Farnborough Airport saw a year-on-year increase in air traffic movements of 5.3 per cent. For December 2019, the airport recorded an 11.6 per cent increase in movements for the month, with initial forecasts indicating this positive trend is set to continue in 2020.

Farnborough Airport Tower and Terminal

The airport has a busy year ahead, given that the Farnborough Air Show will take place over five days in July and that Gulfstream Aerospace will open its new Authorised Service Centre in the Summer of 2020.

Air traffic movements to and from the US. experienced significant growth during the year with an increase of 15% year-on-year. In the same period, traffic to and from Europe saw a 6% increase.

In 2019, the airport actually handled 32,366 air traffic movements, there is an annual upper limit of 50,000 air traffic movements agreed with the local council. The airport handled the most movements from cities in North America and Europe, with the Rest of the World growing as well. Brandon O’Reilly, CEO of Farnborough Airport was asked about the most unique or most-surprising location flown into the airport in 2019, after some thought, he said that South Bend, Indiana and Casper, Wyoming were those airports.

It is noticeable that aircraft size has increased over the past few years, there are many more ultra-long range aircraft using Farnborough Airport, so there are many non-stop long-distance flights undertaken by owners and operators today.

The airport has also introduced its new brand identity following the recent acquisition. The new brand both embodies the airport’s philosophy to consistently offer a five-star service and reflects the award-winning architecture of the airport’s facilities with its iconic shapes and curves.

Brandon O’Reilly, CEO of Farnborough Airport

“Our performance in 2019 underpins the important role Farnborough Airport plays as Europe’s leading business airport. It is clear that customers continue to see us as the business airport of choice in this region,” said Brandon O’Reilly, CEO Farnborough Airport. “This success is a testament to the dedication of all our employees and the service they provide to our customers day in, day out.”

2019 was another important year of milestones for Farnborough Airport, including the acquisition of the airport by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. The airport also hosted a coalition of business aviation organisations from around the globe for the sustainable aviation fuel initiative event, “Fuelling the Future”, and was named a winner at the IEMA (The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment)

Sustainability Awards 2019, further underlining the airport’s ongoing commitment to responsible and sustainable development. O’Reilly spoke about Sustainable Aircraft Jet Fuel (SAJF) and that every operator has expressed a strong wish to use SAJF, however there is a supply challenge as at present only one supplier exists and that it is based in California. There is also a question of the price of SAJF. He said that currently SAJF costs six times more than any competing fuel. O’Reilly expects that when SAJF is available from more fuel suppliers owners and operators will use it.

He also thought that a way forward might be to blend SAJF with current fuels, this should increase the up-take rate of SAJF and should reduce it’s price over time.

Farnborough Airport currently handles more than 30,000 flights per annum and is equipped to cater for a wide range of aircraft types, including Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jets. As the only dedicated business aviation airport in the UK, it is specifically designed to offer a one-stop shop for business aviation customers, and with 240,000 sq ft of heated hangar facilities and 1.2m sq ft of ramp space can accommodate both based and transient aircraft.