RAF Staverton

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RAF Staverton
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Staverton, Gloucestershire, England
Built 1936
In use 1936-1951
Elevation AMSL 159 ft / 48 m
Coordinates 51°53′39″N 002°10′02″W / 51.89417°N 2.16722°W / 51.89417; -2.16722Coordinates: 51°53′39″N 002°10′02″W / 51.89417°N 2.16722°W / 51.89417; -2.16722
RAF Staverton is located in Gloucestershire
RAF Staverton
RAF Staverton
Location in Gloucestershire
Direction Length Surface
m ft
00/00 0 0 Asphalt
00/00 0 0 Asphalt
00/00 0 0 Asphalt

RAF Staverton was a Royal Air Force station about 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The station was used for training and operations from 1936 until the 1950s. The site is now Gloucestershire Airport.


Aerial view in 1941

From 1931 there was an airfield near Down Hatherley,[1] and plans were in place pre-war to develop the new site. The RAF took over the site as a training school on 16 July 1936[2] for training until August 1946. Flying training was conducted at the site on de Havilland Tiger Moths, but for the first 18 months, during construction, the practical element of the course had to be undertaken at the relief landing ground at RAF Worcester. No. 31 Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School was based at Staverton between 29 September 1938 and 3 September 1939.[3]

During the Second World War a number of units and flights were based at the airfield including No. 44 Group Communication Flight RAF, which operated between 15 August 1941 and 9 August 1946. No. 6 Air Observers Navigation School RAF was also based at Staverton from 1 November 1939 until 17 January 1942.[3]

A satellite strip of Staverton hosted the first flight of the Gloster 1 jet aircraft.[citation needed] Various testing took place at Staverton, including a plan for Lancasters to tow Spitfires from their airfields to targets such as Tokyo; the Japanese surrendered before this method was implemented.[citation needed]

Post-war, a number of small units and detachments used the airfield including a sub-site of No. 7 Maintenance Unit RAF between 4 June 1945 and 11 August 1953.[3]

The Ministry of Aircraft Production Guard Dog School was formed in late 1942, located at Woodfold in Down Hatherley. In 1946 the unit, by now called the RAF Police Dog Training School, moved from Woodfold to Staverton. In February 1951, the School left Staverton and moved to RAF Netheravon.

Staverton Airport[edit]

In civilian hands, the site was known as Staverton Airport before changing its name to Gloucestershire Airport in 1993.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Airport History". Gloucestershire Airport. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "RAF Staverton". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "RAF Staverton". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 

External links[edit]