The Station

Note the airspace above and around RAF Northolt will soon be changing. 

RAF Northolt in west London is used by both military and civilian aircraft and is home to units from all three Armed Services and the Ministry of Defence. 

RAF Northolt plays an important royal role with both 32 (The Royal) Squadron and 63 Squadron RAF Regiment (King’s Colour Squadron) based on the Station. 

2,000 service personnel (from all 3 Armed Forces), civil servants, and contractors work at RAF Northolt.

Ready to carry or to fight


Group Captain Jonathan T W Hough ADC MA BSc RAF

Jonathan Hough joined the Royal Air Force in 1994 having graduated from the University of Bath reading aeronautical engineering. His career commenced at Royal Air Force Lyneham flying the C130K Hercules transport aircraft with No 47 Squadron.

As a Squadron Leader, Hough commanded a Flight on 47 Squadron and was on the Number 2 Group Board of Inquiry into the loss of the Hercules aircraft XV179 that was shot down in Iraq.

He has served numerous times in the Ministry of Defence Main Building in Whitehall, London, ranging from Air Force strategy, Defence operational planning and crisis. This included Defence response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Summer of 2023, Group Captain Hough took Command of RAF Northolt; a long-term aspiration and dream come true.

Jonathan coaches his local U16 girls’ rugby team and is the Deputy Director of Royal Air Force Community Rugby Union. He has previously represented the RAF on the Cresta Run and is a Joint Services Mountain Expedition Leader.

Who's based here



Key dates

1915   Opened as Royal Flying Corps' Military School, Ruislip.

1940   The Station plays a key role in defending the UK during the Battle of Britain and was home to Polish fighter Squadrons.

1946  RAF Northolt acts as London Airport during the construction of Heathrow.

1954   Reverts to sole military use.

1995   32 (The Royal) Squadron is formed and moves to RAF Northolt and remains the home of UK Government and VIP transport to this day.

2012   RAF Northolt becomes a fighter station again during the Olympics, home to four Typhoon fighter aircraft.

Connect with RAF Northolt