Local Flying

Local Flying

Local Flying

Royal Air Force Brize Norton operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in support of UK foreign policy and NATO commitments worldwide. In order to meet our obligation, we have a wide-ranging infrastructure, which ensures our aircrew are trained to the highest standards. Inevitably, the maintenance of such high standards requires that we fly our aircraft (see images below) in the local area, and further afield. Nevertheless, we strive to ensure that noise is kept to a minimum, especially in the quiet hours.

The four aircraft types, pictured below, are based at RAF Brize Norton. Clicking on the images will open each aircraft's respective information page.

C-130J hercules C-17 globemaster Voyager Atlas


Without doubt, there are occasions when we have to increase our flying training frequency or, indeed, our operational tempo, so please check the most up to date details, available in the document via the link below.

JADTEU Operations and Airfield Helicopter Activity.

The Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) is located at RAF Brize Norton and comprises of 124 [Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service] personnel.

JADTEU’s mission is to enable the delivery by air of manpower, machines and materiel through development, trials and training in order to enhance Defence Capability.

In the course of carrying out trials and training in support of operations, JADTEU bid for helicopters from other units to assist with the tasks. Consequently helicopter operations are carried out on station and these can range from smaller single engine helicopters up to large twin rotor Chinooks and can include the use of underslung loads. There may occasionally be a requirement for out of hours helicopter activity to carry out essential night training. Where possible these will be notified in advance on the out of hours flying schedule.

Scheduled Local Training Sorties

The Scheduled Local Training Sorties documents, for RAF Brize Norton (PDF) and Keevil (PDF), are updated regularly and made available for your convenience.

Please note RAF Brize Norton is an operational airfield. While we are committed to minimising disturbance and informing the local community there are times when, due to operational, security or engineering reasons, we are unable to give prior notice of airfield activity outside of normal working hours, however, we strive to keep this to a minimum.

To view the 'Scheduled Local Training Sorties' documents, a PDF reader, such as Adobe Reader, is required.

Royal Air Force Brize Norton Commitment to Noise Abatement

The information available within this section details the Military’s, commitment to reducing noise within the populated and surrounding areas of flying establishments.

The doctrine is published in the United Kingdom Low Flying Hand Book (UKLFHB) and adhered to by the Royal Air Force, Army and Navy.

The United Kingdom is divided up into sectors which allows effective management by the Low Flying Authorities. Royal Air Force Brize Norton is situated between three sectors which are Low Flying Areas (LFA) 1C, LFA2 and LFA4. Additional Noise Abatement information

All Military crews are mandated to use these documents and procedures. Aircraft flying within the immediate vicinity of an airfield will be required to fly lower than the displayed information in order to take off and land.

In the event of an airborne emergency, aircraft may not be able to abide by the rules of the UKLFHB. The primary concern of the aircraft Captain is for the safety of their crew and passengers, therefore in order to land safely they will, in some cases inevitably have to overfly populated areas as that is the quickest route back to the airfield allowing them to land safely.

Royal Air Force Brize Norton is cognisant of the impact that noise can have on the local community and therefore takes a proactive approach to managing noise, whilst balancing the operational requirements of the United Kingdom’s Defence commitments.

Visual and Radar Circuits

Visual Circuits

Can be flown by any type of Fixed Wing Aircraft (Helicopters normally avoid this procedure). Visual circuits are usually flown when the weather is good (no low-level cloud/rain/haze/mist) allowing the pilot to remain in constant eye-contact with the ground, obstacles, other aircraft and the airfield. The visual circuit is commonly flown in close proximity to the airfield (typically 5 miles) allowing the aircraft to conduct multiple landings and take-offs in quick succession. Visual circuits are normally flown for training purposes to enable a pilot to remain competent in the task. Aircraft in the visual circuit take no direction from ATC but locally published orders normally state that aircraft should fly at a certain height and avoid overflying any built up areas or locations that are sensitive to noise.

Radar Circuits

Can be flown by any type of aircraft (Fixed Wing or helicopters) that is fitted with instruments (to assist the pilot in determining his height and direction of flight). An aircraft will follow explicit instructions from ATC who will advise the pilot to climb or descend to a certain height and conduct turns in specific positions using information displayed on a radar screen (similar to a PC monitor). The radar circuit is typically larger than the visual circuit and can sometimes involve flight as far as 15 miles away from the airfield the aircraft intends to land at. Radar circuits can be flown in any weather conditions and are normally mandatory when the weather is poor (low cloud/rain/haze/mist). Radar circuits are normally flown for training purposes to enable a pilot to remain competent in the task. Locally published orders normally state that aircraft should fly at a certain height and avoid overflying any built up areas or locations that are sensitive to noise.

The picture below shows the centreline of the published tracks for aircraft following an instrument procedure. Please note that due to numerous factors, such as inherent errors in equipment; weather factors; and conflicting air traffic, aircraft will not be able to follow the exact line as depicted on the map. In addition, aircraft tracks on a visual approach or departure are not shown.

RAF Brize Norton Pattern Chart

For a larger image, click the link to open the RAF Brize Norton Pattern Chart pdf

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