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The Farnborough Society

Preserving the past, shaping the future


Farnborough Airport Tours

The Farnborough Society recently arranged two tours of Farnborough Airport, and very interesting they were, too.

Airport Tour

Our tour guide, Tony Knight, who has been on the airfield for 50 years, conducted us onto the tour bus and we set off for our first Airport Tourstop, the stunning curvilinear hangars. A fount of knowledge, Tony pointed out a variety of planes both inside and out, and told us a little about some of the owners. He mentioned that a second, idenAirport Tourtical, hangar building is scheduled to sit alongside the existing one.   

Heading out onto the airfield, we learned about the environmental and logistical challenges that TAG faced during construction of the airport. Special reeds, for instance, purify the drainage water. An entire hilltop was removed and redistributed to comply with safety regulations for the flight path. Those of us on the earlier tour were fortunate enough to see, at close quarters, the Przewalski's wild horses that Qinetic has on their land adjacent to the airfield.

 

Skirting round the perimeter, we learned about RAE, the Farnborough Air Show, The Aviator, the Fast Museum, the old balloon factory and, of course, Samuel Cody's famous first flight. At the fire-station, we were privileged to see, up-close, one of just two state-of-the-art fire engines in the country, the other being at Heathrow. Our younger members were invited to try on helmets and talk to the fire-fighters.

Airport Tour
Airport Tour

 

Although we were unable to enter the terminal building, we stopped alongside while Tony told us about day-to-day operations. It is a spectacular building and it was wonderful to have the chance to see it close up.

 

The climax of the tour was our visit to the control tower. First we climbed to the top, which offers spectacular panoramic views for miles around. Then, we were taken into the radar room, where Tony explained the work of the air traffic controllers. Seeing the complexity with which they deal really makes you appreciate the amazing job they do daily to keep our skies safe.

Because the numbers were strictly limited, some of our members were unable to get places on these two tours, so we intend to arrange further tours in the future.

If you wish to arrange your own tour contact Katy Marlow, Office Co-ordinator, TAG Farnborough Airport on 01252 379018 or www.tagfarnborough.com.

Airport Tour


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