The future vision for Farnborough International Airshow has taken a major step forward following plans to construct permanent exhibition facilities on site.
More than 100 temporary buildings are currently erected and dismantled at the show for the biennial event, however, organisers have said the facilities are uneconomical and fall short of customer expectations.
In a bid to improve the quality of buildings at the airshow, ADS Group, owners of Farnborough International, has submitted plans to erect a permanent 21,534 square metre exhibition, conference and media centre.
A spokesperson for Terence O’Rourke, the agent for ADS Group, said: “The airshow remains essentially a temporary event with some 50,000sq m of exhibition halls being erected, fitted out and then dismantled each show.
“This model is increasingly unviable financially and results in facilities which fall below exhibitor and visitor expectations.
“These facilities require urgent upgrade if the Farnborough International Airshow is to retain its pre-eminent global position.
“The developments proposed are therefore of vital importance to the future of the business, the wider local community and UK industry generally. It will enhance the FIA brand and maintain Farnborough’s status as a world-class event.”
Plans were submitted last Friday and, if approved, ADS Group hope to begin construction in the autumn and complete the new building by 2016, in time for the next airshow.
The proposed building will also improve the running costs of the airshow over time, allowing further investment to be made at the site.
The building will have ground floor exhibition space of up to 12,480sq m, that can be sub-divided, with space on the first floor for meetings and conferences and a restaurant or café.
The application states: “The permanent structure will create a new landmark building and a bespoke symbol of ADS’s aspirations for the airshow site.
“In years to come ADS hopes it will become an iconic building synonymous with the airshow and its international status.
“The design of the new building will complement the bold contemporary style of other buildings within the wider airport site, notably TAG’s terminal building, hangars and control tower on the northern side of the aerodrome, and The Aviator Hotel to the immediate north east of the site.
“The new building will result in a significant improvement in the visual amenity of the site compared to the temporary structure.”
A decision on the plans is due to be made by Rushmoor Borough Council by Friday November 7.