Riffa Air Base

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Royal Bahraini Air Force, Air Operations Centre, PO Box 245, Bahrain.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a RBAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Southern Governorate Riffa

Address: Riffa Air Base, Al Muaskar Highway, East Riffa, Bahrain.

Nearest Town/City: Isa Town – airfield is 2.5 miles (4 km) due south.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 06′ 33″ E 050° 34′ 44″
Decimal N 26.109167° E 50.578889°

Elevation: 35 m/115 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.109167 center_lng=50.578889 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Riffa Air Base 1994 – Present

Narrative Summary

Riffa (also reported as Rifa’a) Air Base is the home base of the Air Force and Navy’s helicopter units. It is located directly to the south of Isa Town, one of the main cities on Bahrain island. It was originally built in 19??.

Key Dates

199?    Airfield construction begins
1994    Airfield officially opened

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
13/31 ? ? ? ? Paved

Helipads for more than 20 helicopters are also available.

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Helicopter Wing RBAF 1994 Current Various
5 Sqn RBN 1994 Current Various

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

None known.

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Muharraq Airfield

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: United States Navy

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
? USN

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Muharraq Governorate Muharraq

Address: Not known.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – airport is 4 miles (7 km) northeast.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 16′ 15.0″ E 050° 38′ 01.0″
Decimal N 26.270834° E 50.633610°

Elevation: 2 m/6 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.270834 center_lng=50.633610 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Bahrain Airport 1932 – 1943
RAF Bahrain 1943 – 1963
RAF Muharraq 1963 – 1971
Muharraq Airfield 1971 – Present

Narrative Summary

This page covers the military side of the airfield – the public/civilian area known as Bahrain International Airport is described separately.

Muharraq is the name of the military airfield which is co-located with Bahrain International Airport. The military base is a separate fenced-off compound on the northern side of the main runway, while the airport occupies the southern side. Between 29 September 1958 and 31 October 1971, it was home base to a number of Royal Air Force squadrons, including No.8, 30, 84, 105, 152 and 208 Squadrons. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the base was host to deployments of Royal Air Force Tornado, Jaguar, VC10, Tristar, Buccaneer, Victor and Hercules aircraft. Combat operations operations against Iraq were conducted between January and March 1991, after which most of the aircraft returned home. A number of Tornados and Hercules remained for a few more months before heading home. RAF deployments to Muharraq continue is support of ‘Southern Watch’ missions over Iraq. The base is located on Al Muharraq Island, to the north east of Bahrain Island.

Key Dates

1932    Airfield opened for civilian air traffic
2 April 1943    RAF Bahrain opened
1 Dec 1963    Airfield renamed RAF Muharraq
15 Dec 1971    RAF station closed
Aug 1990    RAF deployment to support liberation of Kuwait
?    US Navy assumes control

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
12L/30R 3956 12979 60 197 Paved
12R/30L 2530 8302 45 148 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
212 Sqn RAF Dec 1942 May 1945 Maritime Patrol
208 Sqn RAF Dec 1961 Jun 1964 Maritime Patrol
17 Sqn RAF Nov 1990 May 1991 Ground Attack

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘Action Stations Overseas’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

RAF Bahrain

RAF Muharraq

GlobalSecurity.org

RADFAN Hunters

Stations M

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Bahrein Marine Airport

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Imperial Airways/BOAC, United Kingdom.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a Imperial Airways

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Capital Governorate Manama

Address: Al Manamah, Bahrain.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – water runway is 1 mile (1.6 km) east.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 14′ 15.7″ E 050° 36′ 37.1″
Decimal N 26.2377° E 50.6103°

Elevation: 0 m/0 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.2377 center_lng=50.6103 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Bahrein Marine Airport 1937 – 195?

Narrative Summary

From 1937 onwards Imperial Airways operated flying boats on its passenger routes to Southern Africa, the Middle East and India. Many of these aircraft used Bahrain as a convenient stopping off point on their long journey. The flying boats landed in the stretch of water off the main docks and passengers were then transported by boat to the shore for an overnight stay in one of Bahrain’s hotels. The next morning passengers were checked in at the Bahrain Marine Airport terminal building before being ferried out to the aircraft to resume their journey.

Passenger flights were suspended during World War Two, but in the postwar period BOAC – the successor to Imperial Airways – restarted flying boat operations. These continued using Bahrain until the 1950s, when landplanes made the continuation of water-based operations uneconomic.

Key Dates

1937    First flying boat operations
195?    Last flying boat departure

Runways

The runway was a stretch of water between where today the Marina Club is located and Mina Sulman.

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Not applicable.

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable – Imperial Airways/BOAC aircraft were not permanently based here.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

Bahrain Airport

Manama Fort Heliport

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Ministry of the Interior.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a BPS

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Capital Governorate Manama

Address: Manama Fort, Al Manamah, Bahrain.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – heliport is in the city centre.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 26° 13′ 0″ E 050° 34′ 60″
Decimal N 26.2167° E 50.5833°

Elevation: 1 m/3 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=26.2167 center_lng=50.5833 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Manama Fort 1965 – Present

Narrative Summary

Manama Fort is the home base of Bahrain Public Security’s helicopters. It is located within the capital city of Manama. The helicopter base is not within the fort itself, but across the road on a former parade ground. Date of construction not known.

Key Dates

1965    First helicopters begin operation
19??    Hangars constructed

Runways

Not applicable. Helipads for four helicopters are available.

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Government Units

Operator Arrived Departed Activity
BPS Flying Wing 1965 Current Policing

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

None known.

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Shaikh Isa Air Base

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Royal Bahraini Air Force, Air Operations Centre, PO Box 245, Bahrain.

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
n/a RBAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
Bahrain Southern Governorate

Address: Not known.

Nearest Town/City: Manama – airfield is 11 miles (18 km) south.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 25° 55′ 06.10″ E 050° 35′ 26.01″
Decimal N 25.9184° E 50.5906°

Elevation: 41 m/136 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=25.9184 center_lng=50.5906 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Shaikh Isa Air Base 1987 – Present

Narrative Summary

The massive Shaikh Isa Air Base is located in the south east of Bahrain Island, 18 nm south of Manama. It was built with American assistance from 1987. It is the base for the 1st Fighter Wing of the BAAF. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and during the Gulf War, the base was host to A-6E and F/A-18 units of the US Marine Corps between August 1990 and March 1991. USMC, US Navy and USAF units have continued to deploy to the base at regular intervals up until the present day.

Note: Several references give the location of this base as being on Sitrah (or Sintrah) Island. Sitrah is a small island to the west of Bahrain Island and does NOT host any military air bases.

Key Dates

1987    Work starts on constructing Shaikh Isa AB
198?    Formally opening of the base
1990    US military units arrive

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
15/33 3800 12467 45 148 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
1st Fighter Wing RBAF 1989 Current Various
VMA(AW)-224 USMC 28 Aug 1990 Mar 1991 Fighter-Bomber
VMFA-235 USMC 22 Aug 1990 Mar 1991 Fighter-Bomber
69th FS USAF ? ? Fighter

Based Civilian Operators

Not applicable.

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘The Story of Aviation in the Kingdom of Bahrain’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

GlobalSecurity.org

wikipedia: Sheik Isa Air Base

Pilot Information

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Weston-Super-Mare Airport

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: Not applicable

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
? RAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
United Kingdom South West England Somerset

Address: The Old Airport, Locking Moor Road, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, United Kingdom, BS24 8RA

Nearest Town/City: Weston-super-Mare – airport is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southeast.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 51°20’16.5″ W 002°56’32.4″
Decimal N 51.3379° W 002.9419°

Elevation: 5 m/17 ft

[geo_mashup_map map_content=”global” center_lat=51.3379 center_lng=-2.9419 zoom=13 name=”airfields”]

History

Name Changes

Weston-super-Mare Airport 1936-1939
RAF Weston-super-Mare 1939-1945
Weston-super-Mare Airport 1945-1995

Narrative Summary

In February 1936, work began on the construction of an airport for the seaside holiday town of Weston-super-Mare. Facilities were still very basic when Railway Air Services started scheduled passenger flights from here in May 1936, using D.H.84 Dragon biplanes. During 1938, work on a main passenger terminal and a large hangar was completed. In the same year, a Station Flight for nearby RAF Locking was set up. The school of technical training at RAF Locking was not located at an airfield so the airport provided a useful base for the communications and training activities carried out by the station flight.

In 1939 No.39 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School (39 E&RFTS) was established at Weston. Formally opening on 3 July 1939, the school was operated by a civilian flying school under contract to the Air Ministry. After a review of the future training requirements of the RAF, the school was closed on 2 September 1939 and replaced on the same day by No.5 Civil Air Navigation School, under a further Air Ministry contract. The task switched from pilot training to navigator and observer training, and this entailed replacement of the Miles Magisters, Hawker Audax and Hind trainers with twin-engined Avro Ansons. On 1 November 1939, the unit was taken under RAF control and renamed 5 Air Observer and Navigation School (5 AONS). The success of the Empire Air Training Scheme overseas led to the school being closed at Weston-super-Mare on 22 August 1940 and moving wholesale to South Africa.

All civil flying in Britain had ceased at the outbreak of war (on 3 September 1939), except for a few authorised flights. However, in late October 1939, Weston Airways commenced a limited service to Cardiff, but a lack of passengers soon forced this activity to close. The RAF formally took control of the airfield on 1 May 1940. One of the new owner’s first actions was to lay down a paved main runway of 4,197 feet, and mark out two shorter grass runways.

In September 1940, production of the Bristol Beaufighter commenced at the shadow factory at Old Mixon, which had been constructed during that summer. Completed aircraft were test flown from Weston-super-Mare and then ferried out by the ATA. A new training unit, 10 EFTS arrived on 7 September 1940, flying 30 Tiger Moths. Eleven of these aircraft were subsequently damaged during a fierce gale that blew in on 12 November. In September 1941 the school moved to Stoke Orchard.

After a relatively quite period, 286 Squadron arrived in October 1942 from Colerne. This squadron used Hurricanes, Defiants and Oxfords to fly target facilities missions for anti-aircraft gun batteries in the South West. Detachments from 286 Sqn often deployed to other airfields in the region, but the headquarters remained at Weston. In April 1943 responsibility for RAF Weston-super-Mare was transferred to RAF Technical Training Command, under the control of RAF Locking. The Equipment Training School moved here from Eastbourne in August 1943. Later in 1943, 286 Sqn moved to Weston Zoyland, and was replaced by a detachment of 116 Squadron from Croydon. Flying Airspeed Oxfords, 116 Squadron flew radar calibration flights for anti-aircraft radar systems in the South West and South Wales.

A detachment from the Aircraft Torpedo Development Unit (ATDU) arrived at Weston in March 1944 from Weston Zoyland. The unit flew Swordfish, Beaufighter, Mosquito and Tempest aircraft to both drop torpedoes and also act as chase aircraft to record the drops. The end of the war in 1945 saw control of the airfield pass to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the resumption of civil flying – including some scheduled services to Cardiff. The last Beaufighter arrived from the Old Mixon factory in September 1945, bringing flight testing to an end. The ATDU moved out in 1949, but the RAF Locking Station Flight remained well into 19??

From March 1955, Bristol Sycamore helicopters were assembled at Old Mixon, and flight testing again took place at Weston-super-Mare. This type was subsequently replaced in production by the Bristol Belvedere. After the last of the Belvederes had departed, civil and military flying continued at Weston until about 1995. In 1989 the Helicopter Museum moved onto the site, and now occupies some of the original 1936 airport buildings. The main activity now comprises helicopter pleasure flights during the summer months, and a base for the annual ‘Helidays’ events organised by the Helicopter Museum.

Key Dates

February 1936    Work starts on constructing Weston Airport
May 1936    First scheduled air services started
1938    Main passenger terminal completed
3 Sept 1939    Civilian flying halted at outbreak of war
1 May 1940    Airfield passed to RAF control
May 1940    1 paved and 2 grass runways laid out
Sept 1940    Flight testing of Beaufighters begins
April 1943    Airfield transferred to RAF Technical Training Command
Aug 1943    Equipment Training School established
1945    Civil flying resumes
1945    Airfield transferred to Ministry of Civil Aviation
1949    ATDU detachment departs
March 1955    Bristol helicopter flight testing begins
1964?    End of helicopter flight testing
1989    The Helicopter Museum arrives on site
1995?    Last regular civil flights

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
07/25 1279 4197 30 100 Paved
??/?? 899 2950 30 100 Grass
??/?? 689 2260 30 100 Grass

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
RAF Locking Station Flight RAF 1939 ? Communications
39 E&RFTS RAF 3 July 1939 2 Sept 1939 Training
No.5 CANS RAF 2 Sept 1939 1 Nov 1939 Training
5 AONS RAF 1 Nov 1939 22 Aug 1940 Training
10 EFTS RAF 7 Sept 1940 Sept 1941 Training
286 Sqn RAF 10 Oct 1942 29 Nov 1943 Target Facilities
116 Sqn RAF Dec 1943 1945 Target Facilities
ATDU RAF Mar 1944 1949 Torpedo Testing

Based Civilian Operators

Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Weston Airways 1938 1939 Scheduled pax services
Bristol Aeroplane Co. Sept 1940 Sept 1945 Flight Testing
Bristol Aeroplane Co. Mar 1955 1964? Flight Testing

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘Somerset Airfields in the Second World’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘The Military Airfields of Britain: South-Western England’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘Action Stations Revisited Volume 4 South West England’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘Weston Super Mare and the Aeroplane’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

Magazines

Feature articles to be added.

Websites

Weston-super-Mare Airport, Somerset

wikipedia: RAF Weston-super-Mare

Aviation in Weston super Mare

Stations W

FlightGlobal

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.

Bristol Airport (2)

Airfield Profile

Ownership

Operator: South West Airports Ltd

Operator’s Identity Codes:

Code Operator
LP RAF

Location

Country Region Sub-Region
United Kingdom South West England Somerset

Address: Bristol Airport, Bristol, BS48 3DY, United Kingdom

Nearest Town/City: Bristol – airport is 7 miles (12 km) southwest.

  Latitude Longitude
Deg. Min. Sec. N 51°22’58” W 002°43’09”
Decimal N 51.382669 W 002.719089

Elevation: 190 m/622 ft

Google map to be added.

History

Name Changes

Lulsgate Bottom RLG 1940-1941
RAF Broadfield Down (not used)
RAF Lulsgate Bottom 1942-1957
Bristol Airport 1957-Mar 1997
Bristol International Airport Mar 1997-Mar 2010
Bristol Airport Mar 2010-Present

Narrative Summary

History to be added. RAF Station Code: LP.

More history to be added.

Key Dates

Sept 1940    Land acquired for possible airfield use
26 Sept 1940    Relief Landing Group established near Lulsgate Bottom
10 June 1941    Use as RLG ends
11 June 1941    Work starts on constructing airfield buildings
2 July 1941    Construction of main runway begins
24 July 1941    Luftwaffe Ju 88 lands by mistake
15 Jan 1942    RAF Lulsgate Bottom officially opened
24 Jan 1942    First flying unit arrives
Mar 1942    Airfield facilities completed
1 June 1942    Airfield passed from 10 Group to 23 Group
15 Sept 1945    Battle of Britain air display
8 May 1946    Airfield reduced to Care & Maintenance
1946    Bristol Gliding Club starts using the site
1955    Airfield sold to Bristol Corporation
1955    Construction of airport facilities started
1956    Bristol Gliding Club moves out
1 May 1957    Bristol-Lulsgate Airport officially opened
1963    Runway extended to 7,500 ft
Mar 2000    New larger passenger terminal opened

Runways

Direction Length Width Surface
Metres (m) Feet (ft) Metres (m) Feet (ft)
09/27 2011 6598 46 151 Paved

Residents

The following organisations are, or were, permanently based at this location:

Based Military Units

Unit Operator Arrived Departed Activity
286 Sqn RAF 24 Jan 1942 26 May 1942 Target Facilities
No.3 Det. 116 Sqn RAF 26 Jan 1942 1 Mar 1942 Target Facilities
3 (P)AFU RAF Jun 1942 27 Sept 1943 Pilot Training
1540 BATF RAF 26 May 1942 6 Feb 1945 Pilot Training
3 FIS(A) RAF Sept 1943 18 Jul 1945 QFI Training
OTU Flt. 7 FIS(A) RAF Feb 1945 7 May 1946 QFI Training

Based Civilian Operators

Operator Arrived Departed Activity
Bristol & Wessex Aeroplane Club 1957 19?? Private flying

Photo Gallery

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘Somerset Airfields in the Second World’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘The Military Airfields of Britain: South-Western England’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

‘Action Stations Revisited Volume 4 South West England’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]

History of R.A.F.Lulsgate Bottom by Ian James (Redclifffe Press)

Magazines

Feature articles

Websites

Bristol International

wikipedia: Bristol International Airport

Lulsgate – Bristol Airport

Bristol International Airport Enthusiasts Web Site

Disclaimer: Information is provided on this page for historical purposes only, and not for aerial navigation.