Monday, August 24, 2009

Camp Bastion - the fifth-busiest UK airport

From the DoD:
Camp Bastion - the fifth-busiest UK airport

An Estate and Environment news article

24 Aug 09

Set up three years ago by two RAF personnel on a gravel dirt track, Camp Bastion airfield in Afghanistan has now become the fifth-busiest UK-operated airport, new movements figures show.

Soldiers line up to board a Hercules C-130 aircraft

Soldiers line up to board a Hercules C-130 aircraft at Camp Bastion
[Picture: Sergeant Anthony Boocock RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Camp Bastion is the main base for British forces deployed to Helmand province. Its airfield was initially designed to handle no more than three aircraft movements per week but the facility has grown to such an extent that it now handles more traffic than Luton, Edinburgh or Birmingham airports, and is busier than the Leeds-Bradford and Coventry airports put together.

It was set up in April 2006 when a two-man control team from the RAF Tactical Air Traffic Control Unit activated the dirt track landing strip, and 90 minutes later the first aeroplane landed. What they didn't realise was that it was to be the first of hundreds of thousands of aircraft movements to come.

Today, combat operations, medical evacuations and logistics sustainment flights all operate from what has become a vital military hub, and the air traffic controllers based at Camp Bastion are integral to the support of the Army's operations in southern Afghanistan....

Who knew? There is more on this one, and you can find it here.

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