This year the Farnborough International Airshow occurs July 14-20. While overnight parking is not anticipated to be an issue at Farnborough (EGLF), there are assorted operating restrictions and curfews that must be considered for travel during this period.
The following is an overview of what operating considerations you need to know:
1. Farnborough (EGLF) is primary airport for this event
EGLF is a privately operated airport. It operates Monday-Friday, 0700-2200 local, and Saturday-Sunday, 0800-2000 local, with no airport overtime available. It’s important to note that operations on weekends and bank holidays are limited at EGLF. This location has a Fixed-Base Operator (FBO), with Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) and full services, fuel, and credit available for general aviation. Overnight and longer-term parking is not expected to be an issue at EGLF during the Farnborough Airshow period. This airport is a secure location. Nobody, not even aircraft crew members, are able to gain access to an aircraft without providing a Prior Permission Required (PPR) confirmation number.
2. There are two parts to this event
Validation week, for arrival of aircraft that will be part of the static and/or flying display, takes place July 7-11. July 12 is designated as the "standby" day – for late-arriving static display aircraft. The actual Farnborough International Airshow takes place July 14-20, with 14-18 being trade days, restricted to aviation professionals, and 19-20 designated as public airshow days.
3. Curfews and anticipated delays
Be aware that all operators require inbound/outbound airport slots, as well as PPR, in order to access EGLF. During validation week, operators should expect delays between 0700 and1600 local. On the standby day, expect delays 0700-1200 local. Also, anticipate delays between 0700 and 1600 local on July 21 and 22, as a high volume of aircraft departures is expected immediately following the airshow. During exhibition week, the actual airshow period, the runway will be closed 1200-1530 local on July 14, 1245-1615 local on July 15-18, and 1100-1700 local on July 19-20. Flying displays will take place at the airport on the following dates and times:
- July 14 1200-1500 local
- July 15-18 1315-1545 local
- July 19-20 1130-1630 local
4. EGLF operating procedures
Normally, only a PPR is required for travel to EGLF, and this should always be requested a minimum of 48 hours in advance. However, during the Farnborough Airshow between July 14-20, airport slots will also be necessary for all operations to/from EGLF. Be mindful that EGLF is currently the only airport in Europe that restricts operations to aircraft meeting International Civil Aviation Organization Chapter 4 criteria. Stage 3 operations may in some cases be permitted with prior approval. Stage 2 operations are no longer allowed into EGLF under normal circumstances. However, during the Farnborough Airshow period, Stage 2 operations may be permitted if the aircraft is participating in the airshow.
5. UK landing permits
UK landing permits are required for all charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights. The Civil Aviation Authority processes permit requests during normal Monday-Friday, 0900-1700 local, business hours, and five days’ lead time is required. Note that short-notice requests may not be accepted, and there’s no longer an after-hours number available to process such requests. For more information see our blog article entitled "UPDATE: Regulatory Changes for UK Charter Permits."
6. PPR request procedure
For PPR requests it’s necessary to provide complete crew/passenger information, a copy of the aircraft third-party liability insurance with minimum coverage of 25 million USD, and a noise certificate. Noise certificates must include the aircraft tail number or serial number, and this cannot be generic noise data from the aircraft manual. Be aware that your PPR confirmation number will be required for all access to your aircraft while the aircraft is at EGLF. Crew members, in-flight caterers, ground handlers, and any other 3rd-party vendors will not be able to access the aircraft airside without this PPR confirmation number.
7. Alternate airports
The two preferred alternate airports for the Farnborough Airshow are Stansted (EGSS) and Luton (EGGW). Both are 24-hour airports of entry, with full services and credit available. Although both EGSS and EGGW require airport slots, these should not be problematic. Slots can be obtained online and should be requested as soon as schedule is known. Short- and longer-term aircraft parking is not anticipated to be an issue at either location during the Farnborough Airshow period, but these are great options to consider during the airport closures at EGLF. Drive time from EGSS and EGGW to EGLF is about 1.5 hours and 1 hour, respectively (depending on time of day).
8. CIQ considerations
When arriving at EGLF from outside the European Union (EU), you’ll need to provide 24 hours’ notice to arrange Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance (accomplished within the FBO). Short-notice CIQ arrangements may be possible, but it’s at customs’ discretion to approve/disapprove the request. For arrivals from within the EU, four hours’ advance notification is needed. Please note that pets may not be brought into the UK via EGLF. There are only four approved airports in the UK capable of quarantining and processing onboard pets – Biggin Hill (EGKB), Gatwick (EGKK), Heathrow (EGLL), and EGSS. At these four locations, pets will be processed if they meet all documentation requirements. Your 3rd-party provider can provide more information on current documentation mandates, or you can view more information from the blog article we published entitled "Pet Passport Travel – Now Available at London Stansted Airport (EGSS)." If you land with a pet at any other airport in the UK, the animal will be impounded.
9. Hotels and local transport
Hotel availability in the EGLF area will be very limited, essentially nonexistent, during the Farnborough Airshow period. Many hotel rooms are booked a year in advance of the airshow. Best options will be hotels in surrounding towns/villages, perhaps a one-hour drive away, or within the city of London. Options for local transport include prepaid transport (car with driver), rental cars, or public transport. Rental cars are a practical consideration for crew members staying in the general area of Farnborough. If you’re staying in London, however, pre-paid transportation or public transport (a train) are the preferred options, as parking for rental cars in London is both expensive and scarce.
10. Prepare for UK Air Passenger Duty Payments
You may be required to pay UK Air Passenger Duty (UK APD) for your flight. For more information on this, read our previous article: UK Air Passenger Duty (UK APD) – How It Applies to UK Business Aviation. Depending on who you are working with, a 3rd-party provider can facilitate these payments on your behalf.
11. Comply with EU Emission Trading Scheme
Intra-EU flights (flights departing and arriving within the EU) are required to comply with the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) monitoring, reporting, and carbon trading requirements. You can read our series on aviation EU-ETS or visit the EU-ETS Resource Center for more information.
If you plan to operate to EGLF during the Farnborough Airshow period, it’s important to be aware of operational delays and closure times and to plan accordingly. Although aircraft parking at EGLF is not expected to be an issue, it’s important to be flexible with your schedule in terms of arrival/departure times.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your trip to Farnborough, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Greg Linton
Greg Linton, Team Lead, ELATE Team, is known as a solutions-oriented problem solver. He’s also known as an expert on operations around the globe, particularly to Europe, Africa and China. Since joining Universal in 2000, Greg has facilitated more than 9,100 trip legs. He has represented Universal at numerous industry tradeshows and conventions including the European Business Aviation Association Conference & Exhibition and the National Business Aviation Association Conference. Greg has also been interviewed for and contributed articles to many industry publications. Prior to joining Universal, Greg served as an aircraft maintenance administration supervisor in the United States Marine Corps. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation management. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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