Shoreham (Brighton City) Airport
|IATA: ESH – ICAO: EGKA|
|Operator||Brighton City Airport Ltd|
|Serves||South of West Sussex|
|Location||Lancing, West Sussex|
|Elevation AMSL||7 ft / 2 m|
Shoreham Airport (IATA: ESH, ICAO: EGKA), also known as Shoreham (Brighton City) Airport, owned by Brighton City Airport Ltd (BCAL) following the take over of the airport from Albemarle in May 2014, is an airport located 1 NM (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) west of Shoreham-by-Sea at Lancing in the Adur district of West Sussex, England. Founded in 1910, it is the oldest airport in the UK. It is situated immediately to the south of the A27 road, between Brighton and Worthing, and immediately to the north of the West Coastway railway line.
Shoreham has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P884) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.
- 1 History
- 2 RAFA Shoreham Airshow
- 3 Facilities
- 4 Ground transport
- 5 Airlines and destinations
- 6 South East Air Support Unit
- 7 Shoreham Airport RFFS
- 8 Film appearances
- 9 References
- 10 External links
First World War
The aerodrome became an airport for the adjacent towns of Brighton, Hove and Worthing in the 1930s. A new terminal building was opened on 13 June 1936. It was designed by Stavers Tiltman in the Art Deco style. The terminal building is still in use and was designated a Grade II* listed building in 1984.
Second World War
During the Second World War the airfield operated a variety of military aircraft including Westland Lysanders that were later replaced by Supermarine Spitfires, Hawker Hurricanes, Boulton Paul Defiants and a pair of Bristol Beaufighters. It was an air-sea-rescue base with Supermarine Walrus aircraft joining other wartime activities in the nearby harbour.
The airfield was bombed several times and a Messerschmitt Bf 109 was shot down by ground fire during one such attack, crash-landing near the terminal building.
Post-Second World War
The landing area was entirely grass until a tarmac runway was built in 1981.
In 1949, F G Miles Engineering Ltd moved to Shoreham from Redhill Aerodrome and soon occupied the repaired Municipal Hangar.
Beagle Aircraft Ltd (British Executive & General Aviation Ltd) was formed at Shoreham on 7 October 1960 and design drawings were begun a few weeks later for a new prototype twin-engine light transport aircraft. Built as the Beagle B.206X at Beagle's Rearsby factory near Leicester, this promising new type was completed at Shoreham and first flown by John Nicolson on 15 August 1961. Beagle Aircraft Ltd was nationalised in late 1966 and taken over by the British Motor Corporation but later entered receivership in late 1969 and soon closed down.
In 2006, due to mounting debts the airport was sold by the local authority to a property company on a 150-year lease. It was intended that the airport would provide increasing commercial flight activity for the conurbation on the coast nearby, particularly the city of Brighton & Hove.
The pre-war Municipal Hangar was Listed Grade II in July 2007.
The airport is used by privately owned light aeroplanes, flying schools, and for light aircraft and helicopter maintenance and sales. A number of operators provide sight-seeing and pleasure flights, including the experience of flying in two T-6 Harvard World War II training aircraft.
On 2 May 2014, Brighton City Airport Ltd (BCAL) took ownership of Shoreham Airport and operations, taking over from Albemarle.
Wild Life Festival
It was announced in January 2015 that the site would be the location of the first Wild Life Festival, developed by Disclosure and Rudimental. The inaugural Wild Life takes place at the aptly named Brighton City Airport on 6-7 June 2015. 
RAFA Shoreham Airshow
Once every year in the late summer, the airport is host to the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Shoreham Airshow. The airshow has flying and static displays by a variety of aircraft such as fast jets, military helicopters, aerobatic aircraft, and historic aircraft. A variety of ground displays by local organisations including the local flying clubs, the armed forces, and classic cars and vehicles. The show has raised over £1.5 million for the Royal Air Forces Association over 21 years.
On 15 September 2007, a Second World War vintage Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft involved in the RAFA Air Display crashed near Lancing College. The pilot, Brian Brown, was killed in the crash, the first fatality in the history of the airshow. The next year's show in 2008 featured a special tribute to Brown.
The 2007 show raised in excess of £150,000 for the Royal Air Forces Association, a record achievement.
There is one terminal building at Shoreham, with a central reception and information desk, together with flight indicator boards announcing all arrivals and departures. The airport has two licensed restaurants. The airport houses Northbrook College's engineering department — a Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in Aerospace and Aviation. A number of aerospace and aviation commercial businesses have offices and workshops on the airport site and along the perimeter road. The largest operator is FTA, providing Integrated Commercial Pilot training, with a fleet of Diamond Aircraft DA40s and DA42s.
The Shoreham Airport Visitor Centre features exhibits about the airport's history and area aviation history, a library and archive of related historic materials and guided tours of the airport.
A halt on the West Coastway Line was opened in 1910, just in front of the main building of the airport. In 1935 it changed name from Bungalow Town Halt to Shoreham Airport, but was closed in 1940.
Airlines and destinations
There are no regular scheduled passenger services from the airport. Various charter airlines are based at the airport.
South East Air Support Unit
The South East Air Support Unit operated from Shoreham Airport. Previously Sussex Police Air Operations Unit, the unit has been equipped since February 2000 with a MD Explorer, registered as "G-SUSX". The unit is headed by a Police Inspector, assisted by a Police Sergeant and two Police Constables, together with pilots, paramedics, and ground support staff. The aircraft always flies with a crew of three (one civilian pilot, one police officer, and one paramedic) and can reach any part of Sussex (around 1,500 square miles) within 20 minutes. In summer 2007, it moved to Dunsfold Park, west of London Gatwick Airport, before moving to its present base at Redhill Aerodrome in autumn 2013.
Shoreham Airport RFFS
The Shoreham Airport Rescue and Firefighting Service provides a professional fire-fighting capability at the airport during operating hours. Headed by a Senior Airport Fire Officer, the service's two watches (Blue Watch and Red Watch) man four fire appliances. The service has operated at the airport continuously for over 90 years.
Shoreham Airport's aircraft fuelling service is operated as a department of the Rescue and Firefighting Service. There are three large mobile fuel bowsers for delivering both avgas and jet fuel to aircraft, including a service (accompanied by fire appliances) for fast delivery of fuel to police and coastguard emergency helicopters without disengaging their engines. Fuel technicians are attached to the firefighting watches and work the same shift pattern
Due to its listed period buildings and facilities, Shoreham Airport has been used by film-makers seeking to portray a small town airport, or even for historical reconstructions of scenes from the 1930s onwards. The airport has appeared in several episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot; "The Adventure of the Western Star", "Death in the Clouds" and "Lord Edgeware Dies". External shots of the airport were also used in the film The Da Vinci Code and Woman in Gold. The airport was used in the feature length documentary Angel Without Wings and A Dark Reflection.
- Shoreham - EGKA
- CAA 2013 Stats
- New plan ‘safeguards future of Shoreham Airport’
- Nick Bloom, "Sunny Shoreham", Pilot, February 2012, p70
- Royal Flying Corps WW1 Blériot XI reconnaissance monoplane | http://aircraft-photographs.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/aircraft-ww1-RFC-bleriot-XI-observation-monoplane.html
- Nick Bloom, "Sunny Shoreham", Pilot, February 2012, p71
- New plan ‘safeguards future of Shoreham Airport’
- "Shoreham Airshow 2011 - 20th-21st August 2011". Retrieved 2011-02-21.
- "WWII aircraft pilot dies in crash". BBC News. 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- SARFFS website
- Airport fuelling team webpage
- "Secret Da Vinci Code airport set revealed". The Argus. 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- "Angel Without Wings". Fact Not Fiction Films. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shoreham Airport.|
- Shoreham Airport (official website)
- Shoreham Airport Visitor Centre (official website)
- Shoreham Airshow (Official website)