IT seemed for all the world that a flying saucer was landing at Farnborough Airfield last week.

In fact the spherical object was the "lid" of the new futuristic looking air traffic control tower which is nearing completion.

The "lid" was lifted on to the visual control room, during the early hours of Tuesday last week, by a 100ft crane.

Met Office staff advised that it was the only time of the week when the wind would be low enough to carry out the operation safely.

The construction of the tower is part of TAG Aviation's £60-million redevelopment of the airfield. Installation of air traffic control equipment will start in September, and the £3-million tower should be ready for hand-over two months' later.

Ann Bartaby, TAG's planning and development director at the airfield, said: "The new tower will be a stunning building when it is finished.

"It will provide the very best air traffic control service." She added that the airfield's development was helping to boost the local economy.

More than 300 workmen and women are employed on the project, of whom one third live locally.

And more than £4-million worth of orders have been placed with local contractors and suppliers.

TAG, which acquired the airfield from the Ministry of Defence, is transforming the airfield into a major business airport.