Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), which also owns U.S.-based FBO group Atlantic Aviation, last month purchased UK business aviation hub Farnborough Airport from TAG. The London-area airport, which saw a record 30,729 aircraft movements last year, is home to 260,000 sq ft of climate-controlled hangar space, more than one million sq ft of ramp, a three-story 52,000-sq-ft terminal that has held the top score for non-North American FBOs on AIN's annual FBO survey for more than a decade, and a hotel. Movements are expected to surpass 32,000 in 2019, which could push the annual passenger figures past 100,000 for the first time. With a maximum of 50,000 movements a year negotiated with the local governments, the airport's traffic still has considerable room to grow.
TAG won the right to operate the former military airfield, the birthplace of flight in the UK and site of the biennial Farnborough International Airshow, in 1997 and was granted a 99-year lease. In 2007, the company bought the leasehold entirely and has invested more than $150 million in the property.
“The significant investment that has occurred at Farnborough Airport over the past two decades under the previous shareholders has been transformative,” said Brandon O’Reilly, who has served as CEO of the airport since 2006. “With a number of development projects already underway, we are excited to partner with Macquarie to further develop our offering to the business aviation market.”
Last year, Farnborough Airport (Booth N4109) became the first business aviation airport in the world to achieve carbon-neutral status after an assessment by Airports Council International—Europe. In 2018 it committed to 100 percent renewable energy supply through the UK energy regulator’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme.
The airport saw traffic growth in 2019, with last month being the busiest September on record, up 17 percent from the previous year. For the first nine months of the year, traffic to and from the U.S. and Canada was up 19 percent year-over-year.