Work on our runways and operating surfaces has begun in preparation for the arrival of the P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth.
There will be changes to our flying programme during 2020, with an increase in activity both on and around the Station. This article will be updated periodically to keep you up to date with the progress of the works, and any disruption it may cause.
Why is this work taking place?
Our runways and associated surfaces were originally designed for fast-jet operations rather than larger multi-engine aircraft. They require resurfacing and widening in certain areas, as we will soon be home to a fleet of nine P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
World leading in its capabilities, the P-8A is an aircraft capable of locating, identifying, and tracking submarines and surface vessels. CXX Squadron have already been stood up to operate the Poseidon, with 201 Squadron standing up in 2021.
We are also home to four front-line Typhoon Squadrons: 1(F), II(AC), 6, IX(B) Squadrons. They are responsible for holding Quick Reaction Alert duties, which may see them scrambled at a moment’s notice against any airborne threat to the United Kingdom. Squadrons also deploy on global operations and exercises around the world. Last year alone saw our personnel involved in counter-Daesh operations, NATO Air Policing in Iceland, along with various other exercises. Day-to-day our aircrew perform routine training to maintain their currencies and competencies in the air.
Timeline of Works
- January 2020: The 05/23 runway will be out of use while it is resurfaced. All Typhoon activities will use the 10/28 runway (which runs roughly west-east).
- February 2020: The P-8A Poseidon will arrive on UK soil for the first time at Kinloss Barracks.
- June - July 2020: The intersection of the runways will be resurfaced, with construction workers operating 24/7 to complete this section as quickly as possible. QRA will temporarily relocate to Leuchars Station, and routine Typhoon training will temporarily relocate to Kinloss Barracks.
- July - October 2020: Resurfacing of runway 05/23 continues.
- October - November 2020: Runway 05/23 is expected to be complete. P-8A Poseidon aircraft will land at RAF Lossiemouth for the first time. The Poseidon Strategic Facility will be formally opened.
- November 2020 - Spring 2021: The remainder of the resurfacing works will be completed.
January to June 2020
Works have begun on the runways and airfield operating surfaces, such as taxiways and aircraft parking areas. During this period Volker Fitzpatrick will be working on weekdays from 7am to 7pm, and you may experience an increase in construction noise from the airfield between these hours. It is possible that this schedule may change, but we will strive to tell you at the earliest opportunity.
Our contractors will be based on Drainie Road to the south of the Station. They are operating several mixing plants to create the materials required for the runway surfaces, which means an increase in construction traffic on Drainie Road and the surrounding road network.
Work on the Strategic Facility (the large hangar to the west of our airfield) continues and is expected to be complete later this year. Robertson will continue to use one of the northern access roads off the B9040 for construction vehicles.
You can find an interactive map of the activities here: www.bit.ly/lossie-works-map
Depending on where you live, you may see and hear a difference in Typhoon activity. This is because we are only able to use our runway 10/28 (which runs roughly west to east) now that construction has commenced. This enables us to continue holding Quick Reaction Alert in the defence of the UK and conduct essential Typhoon training to prepare for the wide range of deployments on operations around the world.
Our first P-8A Poseidon is expected to land on UK soil for the first time at Kinloss Barracks in early February.
June to July 2020
The most complex part of our resurfacing project is the intersection of our runways.
During this time there will be no fixed-wing flying at RAF Lossiemouth. Quick Reaction Alert will temporarily relocate to Leuchars Station, with routine Typhoon training temporarily relocating to Kinloss Barracks. To ensure that the intersection is complete as quickly as possible, the construction process will be a 24/7 operation. We will provide further updates closer to the time.
July to October 2020
Like January, construction activities will occur on weekdays from 7am to 7pm. Quick Reaction Alert and routine Typhoon activity will return to RAF Lossiemouth, operating from runway 10/28 (roughly west-east).
We expect runway 05/23 (roughly northeast-southwest) to be back in use from October / November 2020. This will be when our P-8A Poseidon aircraft will land at RAF Lossiemouth for the first time, and the Poseidon Strategic Facility (the large hangar on the west of our airfield) will be formally opened.
We recognise that these important infrastructure upgrades may create some disturbance to our local community. These works are essential in future-proofing RAF Lossiemouth for years to come, preparing us for the next phase of our journey as we scale up routine Maritime Patrol operations with the P-8A Poseidon fleet.
We will endeavour to keep you up to date with how the works are progressing but encourage you to follow the Station on social media for regular updates. This page will also be routinely updated.