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Armed Forces: Air Surveillance

Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 28 October 2008

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Defence (Bob Ainsworth) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am able to inform the House today of the outcome of the Royal Air Force study that has been undertaken to consider the future basing requirements of the Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) units.

On 10 January 2008 I announced that RAF Boulmer would be retained as the core site for the ASACS Hub but that we needed to do more analysis to determine the optimum basing solution for the remaining ASACS satellite units.

This work has now concluded and has confirmed that the relocation of the ASACS satellite units to RAF Coningsby is the best option in operational and financial terms. Therefore, I have decided that, subject to TU consultation, the control and reporting centre (CRC) at RAF Scampton and No. 1 air control centre (No. 1 ACC) at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey will collocate at RAF Coningsby. The relocation is due to be completed by the end of 2014.

Following the relocation, it is our intention to draw down RAF Scampton to only those facilities deemed necessary to support the RAF Aerobatic Team’s activities within the reserved airspace above the airfield. RAF Kirton-in Lindsey will be closed once the No. 1 ACC has relocated to RAF Coningsby. Service and civilian personnel at RAF Scampton and Kirton-in-Lindsey will be briefed on the progress of the study.