BAe group wants to buy airshow site

Consortium seeks to secure future of Farnborough show

British Aerospace is planning to bid for the airstrip and exhibition site of the Farnborough airshow, when it is put up for sale in April.

The company is forming a consortium with the Society of British Aerospace Companies and another organisation to compete for the site vacated by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

A sale to BAe would secure the future of the bi-annual British aerospace industry showcase at Farnborough, which has been in doubt since the Ministry of Defence decided to sell the land 10 years ago. It would also quash industry fears of the loss of the airshow through a sale to a property developer.

BAe said: `The Government has stated that it wishes to see business aviation and the airshow continue at Farnborough. We support that view.’

The company already leases the airstrip from the MoD, to run a corporate jet service, Farnborough Business Aviation, between shows, and bought a small plot two years ago from Carroll Aviation, its former corporate jet partner, when it went into liquidation.

`We hope someone friendly to the airshow will come up with an arrangement for us to continue running it,’ said a source close to the Society of British Aerospace Companies.

`As a last resort we might consider a consortium,’ the source said.