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RAF to deploy to civvy airports

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RAF to deploy to civvy airports

Old 2nd Sep 2022, 07:19
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Originally Posted by The Helpful Stacker
You're joking right? Some jobsworth would no doubt say military personnel aren't adaquately security cleared to go near a civil apron or terminal.

The best the RAF will likely see is a couple of hastily dragged in Portacabins at the far end of the airport, a flaky piece of concrete to park the a/c on and horror bags driven in from the closest MOB by a contracted in taxi driver.
Horribly, horribly far too near to the truth I regret to say....
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Old 2nd Sep 2022, 19:38
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I'm afraid it's not a jobsworth, it is the law. There is no way a UK airport operator can compromise the integrity of the Critical Part of its Security Restricted Area by enabling the kind of flexibility that would support a military operation. No liquids or gels (exactly what is a yoghurt...?), permitted tools only, no weapons, explosives or pyrotechnics, personnel screening inbound, long waiting times for security pass issue..... As alluded to above, a potential airport would need to provide a dedicated enclave with its own access that could be completely segregated from the airport operation....a flaky bit of concrete that is not earning money as a car park, probably.
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Old 2nd Sep 2022, 21:07
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Originally Posted by The Helpful Stacker
The best the RAF will likely see is a couple of hastily dragged in Portacabins at the far end of the airport, a flaky piece of concrete to park the a/c on and horror bags driven in from the closest MOB by a contracted in taxi driver.
And not a scintilla of real security around it's perimeter present or possible. Unlike the airliners across the apron, fat, dumb and happy under total immunity from hostile yoghurt, mineral water and cold rice pudding.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 15:45
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Jobsworth at a civil airport....oh please do go on!

While towing a Huey Helicopter...Tug with flashing lights, Head Lights, and two of us assisting the driver.....me holding the Tail Stinger of the helicopter to prevent the tail end of the skid landing gear from dragging.....the Airport Plod accosted me for not having a Hi-Vis Vest about my person.

The explanation that there would scant chance of me gietting hit due to that small thing I was holding in my hands first getting in the way did not sit well with Plod who insisted the operation stop immediately....smack in the center of the Ramp until I was suitably attired....posing a much greater risk meant nothing to him.

He got very perplexed when I asked how I was to go fetch said Hi-Vis Vest....walk without one to the hangar to fetch one.....drop the tow bar and ride the Tug leaving the helicopter in the middle of the ramp and stopping airplane traffic until we could return and move it....me stay beside the aircraft and send the Tug and the other guy.....or just use some commonsense and continue what we were doing and swear on my Sainted Mother's Grave never to commit such a similar sin ever again. Watching him ponder those options with wrinkled brow and his finger to his lip....and not knowing what to say was a pleasure I shall have to atone for one day. Finally, a radio call to him from some voice....asking him why the helicopter was not moving stirred him to tell us to continue as is....and off he strode.

They do live among us!
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 16:27
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Originally Posted by The Helpful Stacker
You're joking right? Some jobsworth would no doubt say military personnel aren't adaquately security cleared to go near a civil apron or terminal.

The best the RAF will likely see is a couple of hastily dragged in Portacabins at the far end of the airport, a flaky piece of concrete to park the a/c on and horror bags driven in from the closest MOB by a contracted in taxi driver.
If its good enough to drive sandwiches from London to Leeds then on to a famous golf resort near EGQL, just for the staff lunches [ lower rank staff of course] Then its good enough for groundcrew
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 17:39
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I diverted to Newcastle in a Chinook while on exercise. We were all tooled up with SA80 and pistols. We went into the terminal to speak to the handling agent, our gats carefully concealed to avoid alarming the public. All went well until we wanted to return to the cab. The security guy insisted that that we put all our bags and anything metallic through the scanner. His face was a picture as we piled our little arsenal onto his conveyor belt!
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 09:47
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Can only imagine the likes of St Mawgan, Boscombe Down, Leuchars and Leeming would be utilised. All have HAS and fuel depots on site!
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 11:47
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Originally Posted by SKOJB
Can only imagine the likes of St Mawgan, Boscombe Down, Leuchars and Leeming would be utilised. All have HAS and fuel depots on site!
As far as I know the F34 BFI at Leuchars still isn't back in use and, given my experience of how much thought is given to the potential re-commissioning of BFIs during the rush to abandon RAF stations/give them to the Army, I very much doubt it'll be a quick, cheap or easy process to sort.

This goes equally for all the other 'mothballed' airfields folks seem to think could be used.

Yes it's possible to deploy various tankers and/or EBFI assets to such airfields but, for many reasons, these are far from desirable options.
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 14:26
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Originally Posted by The Helpful Stacker
You're joking right? Some jobsworth would no doubt say military personnel aren't adaquately security cleared to go near a civil apron or terminal.

The best the RAF will likely see is a couple of hastily dragged in Portacabins at the far end of the airport, a flaky piece of concrete to park the a/c on and horror bags driven in from the closest MOB by a contracted in taxi driver.

You make a very good point. Earlier this year, the Home Office introduced enhanced background checks on ALL airport staff in the UK because of very real concerns about the insider threat. This has, unfortunately, compounded the workforce problems at major airports as some returning staff and new recruits either did not pass background checks or, indeed, refused to undertake them (working different jobs under assumed names, fibbing to HMRC, outstanding warrants in other jurisdictions, etc). It would be interesting to see if CTC and SC checks - typically applied to SP - are adequate to meet HO requirements (without getting into vetting discussions in open forum, vetting standards across government, along with transferability, remains a challenge).
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Old 4th Sep 2022, 23:54
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What sort of scenario are we looking at here?

A strike that takes out current UK military airfields but leaves civi ones working?

Seems unlikely..............................
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 00:25
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
What sort of scenario are we looking at here?

A strike that takes out current UK military airfields but leaves civi ones working?

Seems unlikely..............................
Ideas from those that never tried hard at school. That is being diplomatic. Never watched Threads I bet as they were in the NAFFI getting hammered.
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 08:10
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
What sort of scenario are we looking at here?

A strike that takes out current UK military airfields but leaves civi ones working?

Seems unlikely..............................
Despite being very very close to Gatwick and its single runway, Crawley Borough Council ensured its survival in the Cold War by erecting signs on the town's outskirts proclaiming it to be a nuclear free zone. One has to admit that it worked, though whether that be counted as success or not depends on your point of view of course (and your post code).
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 12:15
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Am not military and not a pilot, but, having recently flown from Belfast International Airport, I noticed a military base (presumably RAF?) and number of military aircraft sited on the other side of the airfield plus the landing of a large military transport plane. So it seems that the RAF can manage to coexist with civilian air transport, at least in Northern Ireland. But perhaps someone more qualified than I can shed more light on this?
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 12:42
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Originally Posted by lightonthewater
Am not military and not a pilot, but, having recently flown from Belfast International Airport, I noticed a military base (presumably RAF?) and number of military aircraft sited on the other side of the airfield plus the landing of a large military transport plane. So it seems that the RAF can manage to coexist with civilian air transport, at least in Northern Ireland. But perhaps someone more qualified than I can shed more light on this?
T'other way around lotw, it has been a military base since 1917 with civilian operations joining in 1922, later temporarily diverted to Nutts Corner. See Wiki :-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belfas...tional_Airport
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 13:26
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
T'other way around lotw, it has been a military base since 1917 with civilian operations joining in 1922, later temporarily diverted to Nutts Corner. See Wiki :-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belfas...tional_Airport
So if the RAF ops can coexist with easyJet in Belfast, maybe elsewhere? (would make sense, but probably too much to hope).
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 13:35
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy
Quite, no RAF Stations surviving from world war 2 are using the same runways!

FB
so your assertions is no airport or RAF base has a runway which follows the alignment of WW2 runway ?

or is this some kind of semantic- pargmatic language disorder appendange waving competition ?

obviously the runways will have been resurfaced and likely extended ( see the Bow at Scampton) and theirunway numbers are likely to have changed due to the magnetic polar drift ...
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 14:46
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Originally Posted by chevvron
Delete Hullavington add Wyton and Ternhill.
Turnhouse used to have barriers when Leuchars was active but I don't think the equipment is still there.
Upper Heyford and Thurleigh could be cleared.
Thurleigh couldn't because of the proximity to the old main runway of the Bedford Autodrome circuit, plus the fact that the car auctions and car sales companies have modified and fenced a lot of the site including across the old runway.
Wyton is the same with fences and other obstructions although probably less hassle to return to an operational base than Thurleigh, as a lot of it is still MOD.
Wattisham being AAC would be the easiest one to get back into a fit state you would have thought if push came to shove, and probably Leuchars??
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 15:56
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Originally Posted by lightonthewater
So if the RAF ops can coexist with easyJet in Belfast, maybe elsewhere? (would make sense, but probably too much to hope).
Flying operations could co-exist, albeit in the case of civil airports the military RTF phraseology and circuit SOPs are very different to their civilian equivalents, and it is likely that civil ATC would have had little exposure to, knowledge of, or training in military procedures. I'm not sure how the commercials would react to having their arrivals and departures impacted by the military doing their run and breaks.
In the case of Belfast, because the civil and military infrastructures are on different sides of the airfield, they can be adequately segregated.
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 16:16
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In Germany many moons ago, the Harriers operated very effectively from a grass strip owned by the local model aircraft club. I seem to recall that it was around 250m long and was quite adequate - no security problems either!! Unfortunately JL had a donk stop on takeoff, which rather ruined the maize crop in the overshoot. 🙂

Mog
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Old 5th Sep 2022, 19:28
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Originally Posted by SASless
Jobsworth at a civil airport....oh please do go on!

While towing a Huey Helicopter...Tug with flashing lights, Head Lights, and two of us assisting the driver.....me holding the Tail Stinger of the helicopter to prevent the tail end of the skid landing gear from dragging.....the Airport Plod accosted me for not having a Hi-Vis Vest about my person.

The explanation that there would scant chance of me gietting hit due to that small thing I was holding in my hands first getting in the way did not sit well with Plod who insisted the operation stop immediately....smack in the center of the Ramp until I was suitably attired....posing a much greater risk meant nothing to him.

He got very perplexed when I asked how I was to go fetch said Hi-Vis Vest....walk without one to the hangar to fetch one.....drop the tow bar and ride the Tug leaving the helicopter in the middle of the ramp and stopping airplane traffic until we could return and move it....me stay beside the aircraft and send the Tug and the other guy.....or just use some commonsense and continue what we were doing and swear on my Sainted Mother's Grave never to commit such a similar sin ever again. Watching him ponder those options with wrinkled brow and his finger to his lip....and not knowing what to say was a pleasure I shall have to atone for one day. Finally, a radio call to him from some voice....asking him why the helicopter was not moving stirred him to tell us to continue as is....and off he strode.

They do live among us!
Sounds like Sumburgh in the Shetlands. Divert in tech, pax unloaded to terminal. Aircraft is shutdown, but unknowingly INSIDE THE RED LINE OF DEATH, where company base is outside. I walk up to base to use phone, walk back down again, grabbed by the Dragon Lady, what do I think I am doing, I canít just walk over a red line on the ground like that, I have to go to be searched. Once thatís done, she asks how the engineers are going to get to the aircraft. Er walk? Itís about 30 yds.

No no, they have to be searched, and all their kit and tools too. They bring them out and are ďsearchedĒ there and then, by the search manny who has been summoned. They walk the 30 yds, one of them realises heís left a bag on the ground, and steps back over the line to get it. Youíd think heís trying to penetrate the cordon around Air Force One the way she went off. She made him wait while not only this bag, which had already just been searched, was searched again, but he had to be searched again too.

Then one had to go back for another tool. Stuff this, aircraft is pushed over the red line on to the sane side so they can work on it without this nonsense. I need to go talk to my pax, but I have unwittingly strayed over the line. I have to be searched again, but search manny has wandered off, and she canít do it so we have to wait for him to come back, then she escorts me into the terminal via some labyrinth route that avoids the single door between airside and the passenger lounge*, then threatens me with all sorts of retribution if I were to try to go back airside without going to see her highness first. No dramas says I, Iíll just go outside up the road. After the third degree about how thoroughly the company staff will inspect my ID and search my body cavities on arrival in our own company base, this is permitted (not sure how she was going to stop me).

Aircraft deemed totally tech, new aircraft dispatched to pick up passengers, but how are we going to get their bags from aircraft #1 to aircraft #2. Apparently, the pax must walk up to our company base, retrieve bags from aircraft #1, carry them back down to terminal and go through security again. Like f*ck they are, passengers were boarded there, aircraft taxied 20 yds further up the apron, but most importantly OVER THE RED LINE, where we moved the bags from #1 to #2, smiling at her while she stood there shaking with impotent rage.

All this at a small airport in the Shetlands, which was protected on all sides by an impenetrable barrier comprising a 3 foot wooden fence. Later, she tried to get entry to company base to complain about our seeming insouciance for her security empire. The staff there demanded her ID before they would even let her through the door. She didnít have it. They threw her off company property. Excellent.

* if you went at the weekend when she wasnít on, you could go from airside to lounge just by opening the door. To come the other way, you just knocked, and the staff would let you through..


Last edited by PlasticCabDriver; 6th Sep 2022 at 15:49.
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