Llanbedr Airport

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Llanbedr Airfield
RAF Llanbedr.jpg
RAF Llanbedr (1968), with Hastings transport aircraft
IATA: noneICAO: EGOD
Summary
Owner Llanbedr Airfield Estates LLP
Location Llanbedr, Gwynedd
Elevation AMSL 80 ft / 24 m
Coordinates 52°48′18″N 004°07′38″W / 52.80500°N 4.12722°W / 52.80500; -4.12722Coordinates: 52°48′18″N 004°07′38″W / 52.80500°N 4.12722°W / 52.80500; -4.12722
Map
EGOD is located in Gwynedd
EGOD
EGOD
Location in Gwynedd
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
05/23 4,328 1,319 Asphalt
15/33 4,207 1,282 Asphalt
17/35 7,500 2,286 Asphalt

Llanbedr Airfield (ICAO: EGOD), formerly RAF Llanbedr, is a former military facility located in the Snowdonia National Park near the village of Llanbedr, Gwynedd, northwest Wales.

History[edit]

It opened in 1941 as part of RAF Fighter Command's 12 Group.[1] During its life, the base has been known as:

  • RAF Llanbedr until 1957
  • RAE Llanbedr until 1992
  • T&EE Llanbedr (Test & Evaluation Establishment) until 1995.
  • DTEO Llanbedr (Defence Test & Evaluation Organisation) until 1997
  • DERA Llanbedr until 2001, when most of DERA became QinetiQ.

The site was (from Spring 1942) an operational base for Towed Target (and in 1943, became the home of the RAF's No. 12 Fighter Gunnery School), and later, Target Drone services to the UK Armed Forces. Target provision services were typically to the Cardigan Bay Ranges (UK Danger Area EGD201, under the control of Aberporth) but Llanbedr targets also worked other UK ranges, including the Royal Artillery range off the Hebrides and occasionally overseas.

Post RAF and the closure[edit]

From 1957, civilianisation of the base services (typically airfield operation) began with Short Brothers holding a series of contracts until 1979, when Airwork Services took over and held them until 1991. In 1991, contracts and scope of work changed again and FR Serco took over its running.

Secondarily, it served as a Royal Air Force V bomber dispersal airfield, more recently used for military weapons training. The site closed in 2004. Navigational and ATC equipment was removed by the military and the site put up for sale.

Recent events[edit]

In recent years, the site has been used for agricultural purposes under the terms of an agreement with the Welsh Government, the current site owners.

It was reported in February 2008 that Welsh Ministers had awarded preferred bidder status for a 125 year lease to the operators of Kemble Airport near Cirencester.[2][3] In May 2008, the Snowdonia Society, the Brecon Beacons Park Society and the Friends of Pembrokeshire National Park formed an alliance against the development of a new civilian airport at the site without a full public debate "best achieved by making an application for planning permission".[4]

This campaign has been opposed by members of the local population who are in favour of the reuse and redevelopent of the site. A paper-based petition in favour of Kemble's plans for the airfield attracted over a thousand signatures, while an e-petition from the Snowdonia Society received 156.

In December 2008, the Welsh Government gave the go-head for Kemble to take over the airfield, subject to Kemble obtaining the "relevant permissions and consents."[5] In November 2009, the Snowdonia National Park Authority took external legal advice and refused to issue certificates of lawful use to Kemble. In August 2011, a certificate was granted to Llanbedr Airfield Estates for use of the airport to test and develop unmanned aerial vehicles.[6]

In August 2012, permission was granted to turn the airfield into a yard for the dismantling of airliners.[7]

In January 2013 the Welsh Government included the site in the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone.

List of types flown from Llanbedr[edit]

Target tug[edit]

Target drones[edit]

Communication & Ferry role[edit]

Fast Radar Target / Shepherding Role for Unmanned Target Drones / Photochase[edit]

References[edit]

  • Mike Hollingsworth MBE; Gordon Campbell Owen BD AMRAeS (2004). Fireflash to Skyflash. RAF Benevolent Fund. ISBN 1-89980-812-4. 
  • Mills, J. Wendy F. (2002). Target Rolling: A History of Llanbedr Airfield. Hinckley, UK: Midland Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 1-85780-136-9. 
  1. ^ Willis S & B R Holliss (1987) Military Airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945 (Omnibus Edition), Woolnough Bookbinding Ltd, Northants, 283 pp, ISBN 0-907700-12-8
  2. ^ "Successful airport operator in pole position for Llanbedr airfield". Western Mail. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  3. ^ "Airfield takeover by private firm". BBC Wales News. 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Airport will 'ruin' national park". BBC Wales News. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  5. ^ "Park airfield sale given go-ahead". BBC News. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  6. ^ "Plans for military airfield in Snowdonia welcomed". BBC News. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  7. ^ "Airliner scrapyard plans go ahead at Llanbedr Airfield". BBC News. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 

External links[edit]