'It doesn't get much bigger than the airshow'By Tim Harris
July 05, 2012
FARNBOROUGH is representing Great Britain during this year’s Airshow, the head of Farnborough Airport has said.
The Farnborough Airshow 2012 is just around the corner, and chief executive officer of TAG Farnborough Airport Brandon O’Reilly stressed how important this international aerospace event is for the nation.
Mr O’Reilly said: “It doesn’t get much bigger than the Farnborough Airshow. The Farnborough Airshow is very prestigious, it is very important that we step up to the plate every two years.
“If you stop to think about it for a second, the global aerospace industry comes to a town in Hampshire and really puts Farnborough on the map in many ways.
“The Airshow draws a huge interest from around the world. We need to make sure the airfield looks great because we are representing Great Britain.”
The Farnborough Airshow is actually organised by Farnborough International Ltd, but Farnborough Airport provides the stage on which the curtain of the Airshow will be lifted.
“We are honoured to host the International Airshow and always have been,” said Mr O’Reilly. “We have provided the airport for the Airshow that has been here for many, many, many years.
“We are very proud to host the Farnborough International Airshow. It does a lot for the global aerospace industry, but also for this area.
“It is good for the local economy and jobs for local people.”
The Farnborough Airshow 2010 contributed around £17 million to the local economy. It is also estimated that more than 350 people have been employed to work for the 2012 show, this figure for 2010 was 235.
With around 130,000 visitors expected at this year’s event for the public Airshow alone, a lot of time and effort has gone into preparing the venue for the showpiece.
Mr O’Reilly added: “We feel that sense of pride and expectation, and I certainly feel accountable that Farnborough Airfield looks and operates at its very best. We obviously have to prepare for aircraft that do not normally visit here. We normally have small aircraft operating here.
“The aircraft that come for the Airshow are very different. They are bigger, they are faster, they are noisier – we have to prepare the airfield for this. It is really preparing the airfield and airspace itself.
“Our team will be our normal airfield operation team, they are just working about twice the number of hours they would normally work.”
Mr O’Reilly said there would be no flights in or out of the airport when the Red Arrows are flying, as well as the other flight display teams.
Mr O’Reilly underlined how important it was that everyone in Farnborough drinks in the Airshow, and gets into the aviation spirit.
He concluded: “It is a sense of pride for Farnborough. I am very much looking forward to it. I am hoping that it passes off successfully, and everyone leaves with a smile on their face. It is an exciting time coming up.”