TAG Farnborough, the UK’s only dedicated business aviation airport, is continuing its efforts to reclassify the airspace around the facility to permit more efficient and safer departures for operators.
At present, the airport sits in unclassified, albeit highly complex, airspace, thanks to the relative proximity of both Heathrow and Gatwick airports, alongside several nearby general aviation fields and the UK Royal Air Force’s Odiham base.
TAG published consultation documents relating to the plans last year and is presently analysing responses. It will this summer lay-out its responses to the feedback received.
“Hopefully it will achieve all the objectives. Improved environmental performance, more efficient use of airspace and improved safety,” says TAG Farnborough chief executive Brandon O’Reilly.
“I see why those objections were raised, but we need to refine [our proposal] as best we can in order to achieve our objectives.
“Everything will be in place on the ground, everything will be in place in the air and then we’ll be in a position to take advantage of any economic recovery that happens.”
In the meantime it has performed full-scale development simulations at the technical centre of UK air navigation service provider NATS – alongside local simulations at the latter’s Farnborough facility – “to test advanced design, traffic interactions and air traffic control procedures between adjacent units and sectors”, says the airport.
“We are also planning further workshop sessions with key aviation stakeholders to discuss feedback as well as clarity on design and operational issues,” it adds.
In the first quarter of 2015, movements at the site, which is located in the southeast of England, increased by 6.6%, continuing the growth rate seen in 2014.
Last year it also saw a rise in the number of large-cabin business jets using the facility. That trend has continued, it says, with it recording a 27% jump in first-quarter aircraft movements from operators flying Boeing Business Jets or Airbus Corporate Jets.