The SBAC's origins spread back to 29th March 1916 when the Society was incorporated as the Society of British Aircraft Constructors. Membership opened at 75 Members.
In the early days, the SBAC's membership consisted almost entirely of aeroplane manufacturers, and the Society got involved in areas such as industry wage discussions and consultation by the Air Ministry on Air Regulations. The Society's membership grew steadily and in 1947, the first SBAC Annual Report issued after the war, declared 410 Members.
The SBAC became the Society of British Aerospace Companies in 1964 - a change that reflected the large number of members involved in the design and manufacture of equipment, and not just in aircraft and engine manufacture. Membership stood at over 525 companies.
The Society's Membership now covers the whole spectrum of the Aerospace Industry from airframes and aero engines to equipment, materials, guided weapons and satellites. It is an internationally recognised trade association and is the national voice of an industry with an annual turnover of £18 billion, 151,000 employees, and a positive contribution to the UK's trade balance of £3.8 billion (2000 data).
Although the Society has grown in shape and the scope of its work, its mission still remains broadly the same as when it was formed 85 years ago - to represent and co-ordinate members' activities to the business advantage of the Industry as a whole, i.e. still working for UK Aerospace.
FIA2004 was the first show held under Civil rather than Military Regulation. Airline orders and defence spending announcements dominated with $20 billion of business done during the trade days. Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, opened the Show and announced a 30 million network to disseminate lighter, stronger composite technologies for aerospace, automotive and other industries.
At the 2010 event, the show broke into new boundaries by highlighting sector areas with a Space Zone and a UAS Zone. Also, for the first time ever, The Farnborough International Airshow saw the importance and growth of providing more networking opportunities with a Meet The Buyer Programme and Themed Conference Programme which was attended by key industry figures and senior government officials. US$47 billion worth of business with 1,455 exhibitors from 40 countries and 120,000 trade visitors.