A HISTORIC moment took place on Saturday as a radar tower for Farnborough airfield was finally demolished.

It was out with the old and in with the new as Rushmoor Borough Council’s building control experts blew up the crumbling structure to make way for a new radar tower.

The demolition took place on the Qinetiq site at around 11am, where the radar tower was flattened in just a few minutes.

Geoff Saker, building control manager, said: “We provided the licence for the demolition, with the mechanics and safety aspects looked after by our health and safety team.

“The building did not explode — the devices we use absorb the noise and debris, and make sure that it topples over in one direction. It didn’t take very long at all.”

It has been all change at the airfield in recent months. A new control tower is a distinctive building on the airfield horizon — with a gleaming metallic exterior and fully equipped with the latest communications and data systems — which was opened in February.

It was officially opened by MP John Spellar, minister for transport, after the Ministry of Defence formally handed over the airfield to TAG Aviation.

The control tower is just one of many modifications being made to the airfield to both modernise it and enable TAG to take on 28,000 flights a year, as opposed to the current 16,000.

A new aircraft hanger has also been built, which covers 120,000 sqft and continues the futuristic theme, with an elaborately mirrored exterior.

A new starter strip and runway extension complete the growth of the airfield, which has involved lengthy planning processes and has raised concern from local residents over increased air traffic in the area.