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RAF Lyneham: Weather

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how many days RAF Lyneham was closed as a result of recent adverse weather conditions. [Official Report, 22 February 2010, Vol. 506, c. 4MC.] (315787)

Between 1 and 17 January, RAF Lyneham closed only once on 6 January between 2.40 am and 3.12 pm, a total of 11 and a half hours. This was to enable the runway to be cleared of snow and ice. This limited period of closure was due to the fact that Lyneham has a short runway and clearance could be completed quickly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the effect of meteorological differences between RAF Lyneham and RAF Brize Norton on their operational sustainability. (315788)

An assessment of weather factors at various RAF airfields during the period 2004-09 indicated that while neither station was closed for flying operations on a frequent or regular basis, RAF Lyneham was unavailable to aircraft, because of poor weather conditions, on marginally more occasions than RAF Brize Norton.

Careful consideration of all relevant factors was made in coming to the decision to base the Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refuelling Fleet at RAF Brize Norton.

The runway at RAF Lyneham is not long enough to facilitate all of the aircraft in the RAF’s Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refuelling Fleets. RAF Brize Norton is assessed to be fully capable of operationally sustaining the Air Transport and Air-to-Air Refuelling Fleets.