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Airports

O’Reilly enjoys the FAB times

12 February 2018
Exterior view of the terminal building at TAG Farnborough Airport. Source: TAG Aviation

TAG Farnborough Airport (IATA code: FAB), which hosts the biennial Farnborough International Airshow – one of the most important aviation and aerospace trade exhibitions in the world – enjoyed a boom year in 2017 with a 10-year high for aircraft movements.

CEO Brandon O’Reilly told Jane’s in an exclusive interview that the airport is seeking Class D controlled airspace status from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which would allow access on request to transiting general aviation flights. He anticipates a decision by the end of March 2018.

Brandon O’Reilly, CEO of TAG Farnborough Airport. (TAG Aviation)Brandon O’Reilly, CEO of TAG Farnborough Airport. (TAG Aviation)

Air traffic movements (ATMs) at privately owned TAG Farnborough increased by 7.4% in 2017 to 27,005, making it the leading airport in Europe purely for business aviation. TAG Aviation bought the airfield freehold at the end of 2007 but held a lease since 2003; it has invested more than GBP200 million in development of infrastructure and bespoke services in its futuristic terminal.

A client list of high net worth individuals can access their private jets direct from their cars if they so desire, but the airport also offers several luxurious lounges for its passengers.

TAG Farnborough operates with a stated philosophy to “consistently offer a five-star service of the highest standard with no compromises”. Demand for higher-volume flights, often chartered for corporate events, music professionals, or sports teams, has also increased. This led to the opening of a new lounge overlooking the runway in the main terminal for up to 80 passengers.

In addition, the airport has upgraded crew amenities to include a quiet lounge and ‘snooze’ room with flat beds as well as a gym. These facilities are a vital component of the business at Farnborough, because the pilot or crew often decide which business aviation airports to use when London is the customer destination.

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