The TAG Aviation-owned Farnborough is the UK's fastest-growing commercial airport in terms of movements. Annual movements at the facility near London have risen 26 per cent year-on-year.
But the predominantly business aviation airport has faced a lot of local opposition since TAG took it over in 2003 under a 99-year lease from the UK ministry of defence. Opponents have expressed concerns about airport noise and have actively opposed any increased in movements.
"We are operating vastly below capacity," says Farnborough Airport chief executive Brandon O'Reilly. "This year we expect to hit 26,000 movements and in 2008 we will reach 28,000."
Earlier this year, TAG appealed against local government bodies refusing permission to double aircraft movements on weekends, which presently stand at 2,500 annually. TAG says it has been stuck at this level since 2003 and is forced to turn away 2,000 movements a year. The company hopes to get a decision on its appeal by October end.
Farnborough airport is drawing up a master plan that lays out a strategy for the site until 2030. It will be submitted to local government authorities in the first quarter of next year, and will project aircraft movements, runway and airspace capacity, as well as the airport's environmental impact.