Although Farnborough is said to be the ‘Birthplace of British Aviation’ after Samuel Cody made the first flight on Laffans Plain in October 1908, BAE Systems has a much shorter relationship at this iconic location than most people think. Whilst the company and its predecessors have attended the famous Farnborough Air Show since its inception in 1948, the only other visits were by company aircraft during their test and development phases. Many of our iconic aircraft owe their very existence to Farnborough, especially those such as the iconic BAC Concorde.
In October 1992, and with the rationalisation of British Aerospace Plc, the company relocated its Operational Headquarters to a new award winning business complex, created by its property division Arlington Securities.
Named Farnborough Aeropsace Centre (FAC) sitting alongside the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), this state-of-the-art facility brought a new and dynamic approach to the increasing range of international businesses that made up BAE Systems and allowed much of its shared resources to reside on one site.
The eight primary office building were predominantly named after key engineering universities within the aircraft industry such as Warwick, Lancaster and Hertford, each supporting the company's corporate and commercial activities worldwide.
The clean and prestigious working environment was enhanced with a 3-level Restaurant and Briefing facility (known as Park Centre) which was further supplemented with a well-equipped gymnasium and staff medical centre. All the buildings were creatively landscaped with footpaths alongside babbling steams linking each of the buildings.
One of the greatest advantages of the Farnborough Aerospace Centre was its close proximity to Farnborough Airfield (still the Royal Aircraft Establishment at the time) which offered direct access to the bi-annual Farnborough International Air Show. The famous runway was also a major bonus which afforded the provision for their company owned-and-operated air travel service between Farnborough, Manchester, Barrow and many of the British Aerospace manufacturing facilities such as Warton.
Today, BAE Systems Heritage Department also resides in Farnborough, occupying the famous Black Sheds (the oldest purpose-built aviation building in the United Kingdom). Housing many millions of photographs, technical reports and manuals, the Heritage Department preserves the company's proud heritage in aviation, marine and military equipment and it is a resource of used almost daily by authors, film makers and researchers (by appointment).
Today, rationalisation and new technology under BAE Systems has reduced the reliance on physical office space and thus the company has consolidated its footprint into just one major building, Warwick House. Neighbouring facilities also include offices at Frimley, Ash Vale and Guildford as well as many additional facilities throughout the UK.
|1992||British Aerospace formed|
|1999||BAE Systems formed|