The UK’s Farnborough Airport has submitted plans to Rushmoor Borough Council for proposed changes to the way it operates and for enhancements to its community funding programme.
The airport has consulted on plans to amend its annual flight limit from 50,000 to 70,000 alongside other operational changes to meet the long-term market demand for business aviation connectivity from Farnborough.
As one of the largest employment sites in the local area, the airport said these changes are essential to safeguard the economic prosperity of the region. Farnborough Airport contributes £200m to the local economy each year.
The proposals will enable the airport to continue to be a catalyst for long-term economic prosperity, it believes, supporting 4,100 local jobs directly and indirectly, and generating £470m of gross value added by 2040.
Commenting on the submission, Simon Geere, Farnborough Airport’s chief executive, said: “We have gone to great lengths to understand the opinions and priorities of local residents and stakeholders regarding our proposed changes. We are thankful to the local community for engaging in the evolution of our proposals by providing valuable feedback.
“This collaborative approach has helped us shape improvements to the final application, which has now been submitted to Rushmoor Borough Council. We are committed to ongoing engagement with the community, and will continue to work with residents, community representatives and elected officials in and around Farnborough as our application is considered.”
Farnborough is proposing significant changes to its existing Sound Insulation Grant Scheme. These amendments will offer the most generous eligibility criteria of any comparable airport noise insulation scheme in the country.
The application also includes a number of proposals to enhance and improve the business airport’s community funding programme, with plans to increase funding levels for environmental and community projects in the local area.
These measures include the formation of a new sustainability fund which will focus on projects outside the Borough of Rushmoor and in neighbouring communities that may be affected due to their proximity to the airport’s operations.
The airport said community feedback received during the consultation was extremely important in shaping the final application, directly leading to positive revisions being made to the original proposals. These have also included not extending the operating hours on non-weekdays as originally intended and a number of positive measures focused on addressing aircraft noise and emissions.
It comes after Farnborough faced backlash in September when it announced plans to increase the number of annual flights from to 50,000 to 70,000, whilst also planning to expand the number of hours the airport would operate.
After criticisms over the environmental impact of the plans, Geere said “we are also proposing some significant enhancements to our existing community funding programme, including the launch of a new sustainability fund”.
The airport has since also reaffirmed its aspiration to become the first UK airport to operate fully on sustainable aviation fuel “as soon as practicable”.
Image credit: Farnborough Airport