Farnborough Airport

Some key information about Farnborough:

Farnborough is exclusively private jets, with no commercial operations and only the very occasional military flight.  So its comparative reduction as a consequence of COVID, (15,562 movements up to 30.9.2020 compared to 32,522 in all of 2019)  with annual flights estimated to be down by around a third, versus commercial aviation in the UK, is interesting.  Local campaigners say they have no way of checking whether rule compliance is good.

The % of weekend flights was 16% in 2008; it had risen to 27% by 2019, to 8,750 in 2019.

The overall number of flights increased by 42% between 2009 and 2019, to 32,366 movements.

Weekend movements are now close to their permitted maximum of 8,900.

Local campaigners expect, assuming a full recovery from COVID, that the airport owner will seek an increase weekend movements.

The forecasts made for the airport by Mott MacDonnald in 2009, for the airport’s growth, were highly inaccurate and exaggerated. They anticipated 50,000 annual movements by 2019, when in fact there were 32,366. The forecast developed by the Council, which opposed the increase, developed their own forecast (by Forbes) of 33,800 by 2019 – which has proved to be substantially more accurate.


Farnborough Airport Website
Farnborough Consultative Committee (FACC)  October 2020
Earlier FACC meeting papers, going back many years, can be seen at

More bad news for Farnborough residents as airport wins appeal for more flights

13th February 2011

The airport has won its fight to nearly double the number of flights each year. The airport will now be allowed to cater for 50,000 flights every year, almost twice the 28,000 current limit. It can also now host 8,900 flights on weekend and Bank Holidays – up from 5,000. The inspector said while there would be some harm in respect of increased noise, the degree of harm would be moderate. Climate effects were not propertly taken into account, and undue weight was given to the, now obsolete, 2003 Aviation White Paper.
Click here to view full story…

Public Inquiry was May 2010. Ended July 2010

Airport Owner –     Was TAG Aviation. Now since 1st October 2019 it has been owned by Macquarie Group, an Australia based infrastructure group with AUS$600b in assets under management earning AUS $12b in revenue and AUS$2.7b in profit in 2019.  Macquarie’s operating company is called Farnborough Airport Limited (FAL), which is held through a Luxembourg-registered company, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6 SCSp.  FAL’s UK-based parent, Farnborough Airport Bidco Limited, made a £5.3m loss in 2019 as a result of £6m in finance charges, minimising its future UK corporation tax liability.

Airport Website:       http://www.farnboroughairport.co.uk/

Annual ATMs     – around 25,000

 Business aircraft movements at Farnborough:

–    16,100 in 2003 – its first full year of operation at the site

–    over  25,500 in 2008

–   this was reduced by at least 15% in 2009, due to the recession.

–  down to below 20,000 in 2012

see Farnborough aircraft movement figures


The CAA does not publish flight figures for Farnborough, being only business and private aircraft, not commercial.  Data is only available from the airport

 Farnborough Airport Master Plan:   April 2009   Master Plan     (76 pages)

Number of aircraft movements annually:

2003         16,188
2004         17,175
2005         18,469
2006         21,365
2007         26,507
2008         25,504

2010         25,835

2012         25,821  including 1,986 business flights




Forecasts for aircraft movements from Farnborough Master Plan

Year     Capacity           ATM forecast     Annual growth rate %

2009         28,000                 23,000                 – 10%1
2010         50,0002               25,500                 + 11%1
2011         50,000                 31,000                 + 22%1
2012         50,000                 37,000                 + 19%3
2013         50,000                 41,000                 + 11%
2014         50,000                 43,000                 + 5%
2015         50,000                 45,000                 + 5%
2016         50,000                 47,000                 + 4%
2017         50,000                 48,000                 + 2%
2018         50,000                 49,000                 + 2%
2019         50,000                 50,000                 + 2%

.[numbers in reality, after 2009, were much lower than forecast – eg. around 25,000 in 2012 compared to 37,000 forecast]

1 Forecast effect of economic recession
2 Assumed planning permission granted
3 London 2012 Olympics



Farnborough Airport. Flights and CO2 emissions.

Analysis of flights, routes, and top 10 destinations from Farnborough Airport in 2011. Also carbon emissions.
And passenger growth and numbers over the past 15 years. http://www.awsw.co.uk/allco2/FAB_co2.html


Numbers of aircraft movements, monthly and quarterly

see Farnborough aircraft movement figures

These can be obtained from the TAG quarterly reports, production of which is a Section 106 condition by Rushmoor Borough Council.   Noise results and other environmental information is also given

Wikipedia page on   TAG Farnborough airport     Wikipedia

Runway:     06/24       2,440 metres     8,005 feet   Asphalt

General:       In 2003 the MOD stopped operations at Farnborough and it was taken over by
TAG Aviation. who now operate the airport.   They are  are a multinational business
aviation operator, with aircraft based in Farnborough, Switzerland and throughout
the USA. Business aviation flying has grown from a low level in 1989 to around
19,000 movements in 2005. The airport is currently restricted to 28,000 movements
each year, of which no more than 5,000 are permitted at weekends. TAG’s initial
application to Rushmoor Borough Council to have the weekend limit raised from
2,500 movements to 5,000 movements was refused, but the appeal was allowed in
March 2008 after being heard at a Public Inquiry.   Farnborough Airport sees the
bulk of its traffic from conventional business jets. The airport is also popular
with operators of larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A319 – however,
the use of these types is heavily restricted, with nothing larger than a 737-800
permitted except during the airshow. The only scheduled service the airport sees
is that operated by BAE Systems.   It is a private airport, with no commercial
passenger traffic.

Farnborough Consultative Committee:

Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative Committee   (FACC)

http://www.facc.org.uk/latest.html   (FACC minutes and agendas)


 Local community group:

FARA – Farnborough Airport Residents Association.   http://www.fara.org.uk

Farnborough Airport planning application to increase flights from 28,000 to 50,000 per year.   See Farnborough Application


Timeline about Farnborough Airport:

Oct 2005: TAG asks Rushmoor for permission to double the number of flights at weekends.
PR company Green Issues holds public consultation to show plans to residents.
Of nearly 1,900 letters, 1,802 are objections.

Nov 2005: Deluge of complaints forces council to extend consultation period by three weeks.

Dec 2005: Hundreds of people pack out Lakeside in Frimley Green to protest against proposals.

Jan 2006: Hotline set up for complaints by residents about noise receives only eight calls
in a month.

Feb 2006: TAG says it will stagger the increase and limit movements by larger aircraft.
Second consultation ends with 1,700 comments, 1,660 against and nine in support.

Mar 2006: Sir Donald Spiers, chairman of TAG, says that in the last two years 3,000 planes
have been turned away at weekends costing the company around £1.25m.

Jun 2006: Cheers from members of the public as Rushmoor’s planning committee reject the
plans by five votes to two.

Oct 2006: TAG appeals to the government over the decision.

Jan 2007: Public inquiry on Tuesday Jan 23, begins hearing four days of evidence under
independent planning inspector Ken Smith and then adjourns to April 2.

April 2007: Four more days of inquiry including closing statements from both sides.

Sept 2007: Government says it won’t deliver its decision by its original October 31 deadline.

Dec 2007: TAG buys Farnborough airport outright from MoD for £1 million.

March 2008: Government agrees to allow rise in weekend flights.


More information and history about Farnborough and planning, on the Rushmoor
Borough   Council website.      Farnborough Airport Info.