RAF Shawbury

Low flying

Low Flying Area (LFA) 9, covers all of Shropshire and the borders of adjacent counties, is a dedicated helicopter training area for military helicopters.

If you wish to find out more about low flying in the area, visit https://www.gov.uk/low-flying-in-your-area/find-out-about-low-flying-in-your-area

Intensive low-level helicopter activity, often down to ground level, takes place within the area between Monday to Friday, 8:30am and 5pm.

Training does not normally take place at weekends or during Bank Holidays.

More concentrated training activity occurs at RAF Shawbury and the Relief Landing Grounds of Tern Hill and Chetwynd. Nesscliffe Training Area is also used for training and exercises.

Helicopters from RAF Shawbury may also operate outside LFA 9, in any part of the UK Military Low Flying System.

Contact the Duty Operations Controller: 

Phone: 01939 250351 x7227

Of contact the Corporate Engagement Relations Office:

Email: SHY-CERO@mod.gov.uk & SHY-DEPCERO@mod.gov.uk

Phone: 01939 251510

Night flying

This Page is updated on a regular basis (at least weekly) and you will need to refresh your browser for the most up to date information.

There is NO planned Night Flying by the Defence Helicopter Flying School week commencing Monday 10 Dec 18.  


Night Flying Times

Within the available hours of darkness at this time of year night flying will begin, typically, dusk and should be finished by 0200 hours local (or earlier if the program is complete). We realise that night flying, will, regrettably, cause some noise disturbance and therefore the amount of night training is kept to the minimum required to train our aircrew effectively. Information concerning low flying policy can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/low-flying-in-your-area

NB. Although every effort will be made to promulgate accurate information the forecast night flying programme and times may be subject to short-notice changes owing to weather conditions, aircraft serviceability and other unforeseen factors. Please note also that helicopters from the Defence Helicopter Flying School may use the Nesscliffe Training Area, Chetwynd or Tern Hill to conduct exercises including under-slung load training.

During Night Flying Periods the Duty Ops Controller can be contacted on 01939 250351 Ext 7232.

During Normal Working Hours please contact the Corporate Engagement Relations Office by telephone 01939 251510 or email SHY-CERO@mod.gov.uk and SHY-DEPCERO@mod.gov.uk

Viewing area

There is no official viewing area for the safe viewing of aircraft at RAF Shawbury.

Nesscliffe Ops

Nesscliffe Training Area (NTA) is a military facility which is used extensively throughout the year by helicopters from RAF Shawbury for training pilots and rear crew. Much of the training activity will be undertaken by Juno helicopters of the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) between 0900 and 1700 (Monday - Friday) with night flying occurring at periodic intervals.

Owing to the flexible nature of the training programmes it is not possible to post detailed information on day-to-day activites as factors such as weather conditions, crew availability or aircraft serviceability are subject to change at short notice and, therefore, we could not guarantee its accuracy. Furthermore, the prevailing wind on the day will have a significant effect on the precise location selected for a particular exercise and the levels of noise generated.

Download a detailed map of the Nesscliffe operating areas

Area A - Confined Areas
Area B - Confined areas, sloping ground, general handling
Area C - Confined areas, sloping ground, general handling underslung loads

Because of the narrow shape of the NTA, helicopters will generally not be able to remain within its confines when conducting exercises involving flying a circuit pattern especially in a prevailing westerly wind. However, aircrew will endeavour to avoid overflying houses in the surrounding area and villages wherever possible.

Please note that military helicopters from other Service bases may also operate by day or night from the NTA for unspecified periods throughout the year.

Detailed information on helicopter night training be viewed on the Station night flying section 

Safety Campaigns

RAF Shawbury High Visibility Campaign - Be Seen Be Safer

RAF Shawbury launched it’s 'Be Seen, Be Safer' horse rider awareness campaign in April 2015. The aim of the campaign is to promote the wearing of high visibility clothing by riders in order that they are more visible and can be seen earlier by the helicopter aircrew. Whilst high-visibility clothing may not prevent all over-flights as there may be other safety considerations, it does provide a considerable, cost-effective improvement to rider safety.

Group Captain Chuck Norris, Station Commander at RAF Shawbury said:” Our task is to train aircrew to be as professional and effective as possible. Low flying is essential in reducing the risk to helicopters as we have to train to fly in extremely demanding environments, whether these tasks are in support of peace-keeping, war-fighting or humanitarian relief. This training does sometimes bring our aircrew into contact with riders and trials run in 2003, in conjunction with the British Horse Society, showed how effective high-visibility clothing is in reducing the risk to horse riders.”

RAF Shawbury’s campaign is also supported by the British Horse Society, who awarded the Tarquin Trophy to RAF Shawbury in 2015 for the “organisation which had made a significant contribution to equestrian safety.”  

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The BHS said "We are very pleased to have been working with RAF Shawbury for several years so that riders can understand the efforts that RAF pilots make to avoid flying over them. The wearing of high visibility clothing makes such a difference and increases the safety of every horse and rider."

Wing Commander Mike Jordan, Officer Commanding Operations Wing at RAF Shawbury said: “We take our responsibilities to the public very seriously. Our aircrew are trained to consider horses and riders and if they see them, they will do all they can to avoid them. In some cases, last minute manoeuvring can create more noise than a gentle climb to gain height. If one of our crews sees that a rider has been unseated they may return to the area (at height!) to check if the rider is ok and report the incident via the radio if appropriate.”

Sqn Ldr Gary James, the Station Flight Safety Officer said:” With our helicopters travelling at speeds of up to 120 kts (130+ mph) at low level it can be very difficult to spot horse riders despite the very best lookout. This is because horses and  dark coloured clothing tend to blend into the background. Against a wood line, a cropped field or a stone wall, for example, it can be almost impossible to see the rider until the aircraft is less than a few hundred metres away. By wearing an item of Hi-Viz while on horseback, the rider gives the pilot a far greater chance of seeing them”.

For more information about low flying and safety for horse riders, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/military-helicopter-low-flying-safety-a-guide-for-riders

For more information contact:

Corporate Engagement and Communications Officer
RAF Shawbury

Email: kim.leach347@mod.gov.uk 

Tel: 01939 250351 x7572

Download Be Seen Be Safer Poster

Download Be Seen Be Safer Leaflet

Thank you for your support. We still have a small number of small size Quarter sheets left in stock and we hope to receive new stock in Spring 2019. If you would like further information please contact the team at the address below.

Email: ceroshawbury@gmail.com


CERO Office
RAF Shawbury

Have You Spotted A Drone

According to the Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) who regulate all non-military flying in the UK, a drone should not be flown higher than 400 feet, must be kept in line of sight at all times, not flown within 150 feet (50 metres) of people or property, or within 500 feet (150 metres) of crowds and built up areas. If you spot anyone doing this then you are to report it to the Police on 101.

If you feel that the drone is being flown in such a way that could endanger an aircraft then please call both RAF Shawbury on 01939 250351 Ext 7221, if the sighting is in Shropshire or the surrounding areas, and then the Police on 101. The RAF Shawbury Duty Ops Controller will take the details and pass it immediately to Air Traffic Control and the flying squadrons. Your assistance and vigilance are greatly appreciated.

Drone Safety Advice

Download a leaflet on guidance to best practice when operating a drone within LFA 9.

The CAA is the regulators for drone flying in the UK and are constantly monitoring the situation and tweaking their advice.

The latest advice can be found here.

There is also an app that can be downloaded so you can see where there are areas that you should not fly your drone. It is available here.

Connect with RAF Shawbury

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