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14 April 2014, 16:47
RAF Wittering is an active airfield again after three light aircraft landed this morning.
The historic airfield had seen no significant aircraft activity since the retirement of the Harrier. Today, with the resumption of air traffic services and re-activation of the Military Air Traffic Zone (MATZ), RAF Wittering is a flying station once more.
The first aircraft to touch down was piloted by Squadron Leader Christopher Kane the Commanding Officer of Cambridge University Air Squadron, currently based at RAF Wyton just outside Huntingdon.
The Tutor is a two-seater piston-engine aircraft used for basic flying training, and will be a regular feature in the skies above RAF Wittering from now on as trainee pilots are put through their paces.
Wing Commander James Lapsley, Officer Commanding Operations Wing, has overall responsibility for flying at RAF Wittering saying: "Today has been the culmination of months of virtually non-stop work to get us ready for flying.
My team has been superb, and it's an outstanding achievement. Our priority has been a safe air environment and that's what they've delivered. The Tutors have a safe base to operate from, and we're a flying station again."
Tutors will be the most common sight in the Station's airspace; however military aircraft from other stations will be able to land there from time to time.
By mid 2015, RAF Wittering will be the home of five Tutor squadrons; Cambridge University Air Squadron, University of London Air Squadron, East Midlands University Air Squadron, 115 (Reserve) Squadron and No. 5 Air Experience Flight.
Wing Commander Lapsley said: "The sound of aircraft is really the beating heart of an RAF base; so to have aeroplanes back is fantastic. It's the beginning of a new and very positive chapter for RAF Wittering."