As the UK’s only dedicated business aviation airport, TAG Farnborough (FAB) has always had a strategy of staying one step ahead of the market and being ready to meet changing passenger demands. And this is exactly the type of proactive thinking behind the company’s GBP 1 million investment in a new terminal building and crew facilities.
In 2015, air traffic movement growth was at 2%, including a 6% increase in the number of airliner-derived business jets, which represent the highest number in this category for any year. More so, many of these aircraft operate to and from the US, Middle East and Asia, often times arriving with a large group of passengers. “The original facilities at TAG Farnborough were built to serve a very different market, one where the majority of arriving jets carried two to three passengers,” says TAG Farnborough Airport CEO Brandon O’Reilly. “To be able to adequately handle this trend of bigger planes with more passengers, we needed more space.”
The result is a state-of-the-art passenger lounge capable of accommodating up to 80 passengers.
Located on the first floor of the terminal building, the new facility was designed to create a homely atmosphere, using oak wood furniture and velvet material cushions in contrast to the modern, colorful interior design found on the terminal’s ground floor. Customers can also take in views of the airfield from a gallery seating area while enjoying a freshly brewed “TopBrewer” coffee that can be operated via a provided iPad.
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In addition to the lounge, the investment also includes additional crew facilities, including a quiet lounge and snooze room equipped with flat beds and a zero-gravity ergonomic chair. A popular feature is the complimentary gymnasium and shower facilities located in a building just adjacent to the main terminal. “I often say that we’re the airport that likes to say yes,” says O’Reilly. “So when crew asked for workout facilities, we delivered.”
A community player
At TAG Farnborough Airport, it’s not only the customers that are taken care of, the airport is also an active member of the surrounding community. In fact, according to a recent report on the impact of business aviation on the European economy commissioned by the EBAA and conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton, today, TAG employs 200 people and provides services to 23,000 yearly operations.
The airport also stimulates the local economy, contributing to contractors, hotels and security services – among other sectors – which together account for nearly 8,000 jobs. When you add to this the indirect and induced effects, the total employment supported by TAG Farnborough is estimated at almost 9,600 local jobs and an additional 12,000 in the region.
As if this isn’t enough, the company continues to offer its annual scholarship program aimed at inspiring young people to consider a career in aviation, along with numerous other charitable activities – making TAG a business aviation showcase of market foresight, customer service and community involvement.