Civil commercial aircraft movements at RAF Northolt are limited to 7,000 per calendar year and are permitted between 0800 and 2000 hours seven days a week. However, RAF Northolt is currently operating restricted hours at weekends between 1000 and 1600. Flights are restricted to those carrying fewer than 30 passengers.
Given the size of the runway and the available fire cover, there is a limitation to the size and shape of aircraft that the station can accommodate.
To ask Her Majesty's Government who decides on the use of Royal Air Force Northolt for civilian aircraft; and who gets priority over its use. [HL40]
To ask Her Majesty's Government who determines priority if demand for use of Royal Air Force Northolt exceeds availability; and on what basis. [HL41]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any special deals have been negotiated with any operators for the use of Royal Air Force Northolt by civilian aircraft; if so, with whom; and on what basis. [HL44]
Use of RAF Northolt for civilian aircraft is permitted under the MoD wider markets initiative which utilises the station's irreducible spare capacity. There is an agreement with one commercial operator which leases a hangar at the station that provides a guarantee of a fixed number of landing slots. This benefit arose from a tender competition which was open to all civil operators.
The use of the remaining irreducible spare capacity, within the voluntary ceiling of 7,000 civil commercial movements per year, is available to all civilian operators on a first-come, first-served basis.
The RAF levies charges for aircraft parking and landing. These are set at market rate, which is determined by reference to other similar commercial airfields in the local area. Charges are set by RAF Northolt and these are reviewed on an annual basis by the station. Additionally, a hangar is leased out for civilian aircraft use for which the charges were determined through an open competition.
Other aircraft services, including refuelling and passenger handling, are provided by private companies. The charges made by those companies are a matter for them.
Income received by RAF Northolt from civilian aircraft using the airfield facilities is set out in the table below.
Year Total per annum £ Million 2003-04 2.00 2004-05 2.62 2005-06 3.09 2006-07 3.78 2007-08 4.17
Total per annum £ Million
Note: Receipts for de-icing are not included as these are not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.