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Cranfield Airport

Cranfield Airport
Airport type Private, former RAF Station
Operator Cranfield University
Serves Bedford, Milton Keynes
Location Cranfield
Elevation AMSL 358 ft / 109 m
EGTC is located in Bedfordshire
Location in Bedfordshire
Direction Length Surface
m ft
03/21 1,799 5,902 Asphalt
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]

Cranfield Airport (ICAO: EGTC) is an airfield just outside the village of Cranfield, 7 NM (13 km; 8.1 mi) south-west of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It was originally a World War II aerodrome, RAF Cranfield.


  • History 1
  • Description 2
  • References 3
  • Sources 4
  • External links 5


RAF Cranfield was built by John Laing & Son on 100 acres (0.40 km2) of farmland acquired by the Air Ministry in 1935 as Britain re-armed to face the growing threats on the continent.[2] It was formally opened on 1 June 1937 and initially became the base for No. 62 Squadron RAF and No. 82 Squadron RAF of No. 1 (Bomber) Group, flying the already obsolescent Hawker Hind biplanes.

Both squadrons converted to Blenheim 1s in 1938. 62 Squadron was moved to Singapore in August 1939 where it was destroyed by the invading Japanese. RAF Cranfield's grass airstrip was replaced with three hardened runways in the winter of 1939 and spring of 1940 and became a target for enemy action in the late summer of that year, with mines, bombs and incendiaries dropped on it and the nearby village of Cranfield.


External links

  • Ritchie, Berry (1997). The Good Builder: The John Laing Story. James & James. 


  1. ^ Cranfield - EGTC
  2. ^ Ritchie, p. 91
  3. ^ "Cranfield College of Aeronautics history" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Cranfield College of Aeronautics history" (PDF). Cranfield University. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - Lancaster history". RAF. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  6. ^ Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences


  • NDB 'CIT' which is located 3.5 NM (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) to the north-east of the aerodrome, providing NDB and NDB/DME approaches to both runways and holding pattern
  • ILS/DME equipment for runway 21
  • VDF

Navigation facilities for pilots include

Although the length of the runway means that Cranfield can handle small to medium-sized airliners, remaining infrastructure is not suitable for scheduled passenger flights.

The aerodrome is also used by fixed-wing and helicopter flight training organisations. Increasingly, general aviation, small business aircraft and private jets make use of the facilities. The airfield is 3 mi (4.8 km) from the M1 motorway and the town of Milton Keynes, making it the nearest to the town.

Cranfield is also home to the privately owned English Electric Lightning T5 "XS458" which conducts regular demonstration fast taxi and ground runs at selected weekends during the summer months.

In addition to University flights, Cranfield is home to the Met Office research aircraft Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements.

Cranfield Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P803) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Cranfield University)[6] situated next to the site.


August 1941 saw the fast developing station become a night fighter training centre with the arrival of No. 51 Night fighter Operational Training Unit. This was disbanded after the end of the war in Europe in June 1945 and the airfield became the site for a new College of Aeronautics. This college helped develop the highly successful Harrier Jump Jet and has serviced the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The UK's sole remaining airworthy Avro Lancaster was based at Cranfield until 1964.[4][5]


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