Farnborough to build 3rd hangar, consider eVTOL flights

Farnborough Airport on Tuesday announced plans to build a third hangar – a 175,000 square foot four-bay structure due to open in 2024 – on the London area land. The airport also revealed a new partnership with UK-based Vertical Aerospace, which is working to bring a four-passenger eVTOL aircraft into commercial service in 2024.

Scheduled to cost £35 million ($47 million), the expansion project will nearly double the available hangar space, adding to the 220,000 square foot climate-controlled buildings already in use. Farnborough Airport CEO Simon Geere said the project represents the owners Macquarie Funds’ long-term commitment to the site.

Local authorities granted planning permission for the new hangar in January, and the airport has now launched a tender with building contractors for construction work from the third quarter. Geer said AIN that there is a waiting list for hangar space, which is available to operators on year-round contracts. He said operators are willing to pay a premium for access to hangar space during the winter months at the airport.

Farnborough is also looking to increase the number of ‘contact stands’ it offers near its terminal building. These are mainly used by charter operators whose passengers have to go through security checks and can then walk to their aircraft.

Meanwhile, the airport and UK-based Vertical Aerospace are exploring possibilities for eVTOL operations from Farnborough, which could include quieter and more accessible shuttle flights to central London than is currently possible with helicopters.

Last year Farnborough handled 26,003 movements, almost 60% of the pre-Covid record total of 32,366 in 2019 and a significant improvement on the figure of 19,952 in 2020. Up to 90% of flights to and from Farnborough are now short distance. sectors in Europe, which may reflect the reduction in transatlantic traffic seen during the pandemic.

Managed aircraft now account for approximately 45% of overall traffic, with business and private aircraft and split fleets each accounting for 20%, and charter operations accounting for the remaining 15%. The airport’s largest customers are VistaJet, NetJets and Flexjet.

Geere said sales of sustainable aviation fuel are steadily increasing, despite prices about 50% higher than Jet-A. The airport, which in 2018 became the first business aviation facility to achieve carbon neutrality, is making new environmental investments in new electric ground support vehicles and the use of bio-treated vegetable fuel. hydrogen.

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