TAG Wants Farnborough Restrictions Eased

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A week after it bought the airport, TAG is asking the British government to ease restrictions that cap flight operations, particularly on weekends and holidays. The airport is currently restricted to 2,500 weekend and holiday operations a year (the airport is closed on Christmas Day and Dec. 26, the Boxing Day holiday in Britain) but, with the boom in private jet travel, more people want to get away on their own aircraft than ever. "We have significant demand in excess of the 2,500 flights over weekends," TAG Farnborough Brandon O'Reilly told the Sunday Times. "It is an artificial constraint on our operations, and we feel 5,000 would be more appropriate."

The airport is also nearing the cap of 28,000 annual operations but it's willing to absorb the additional weekend business into that total. TAG is also dangling the carrot of increased investment. The company has already built a new terminal and is planning a hotel for next year. It would build more hangars if the weekend restrictions are eased. There are currently 46 aircraft based there. O'Reilly said Farnborough takes pressure off nearby commercial airports and loosening the restrictions will allow them to accept more airliners. The decision is expected soon and and O'Reilly said it would be "very frustrating" if the government said "No."