RAF Northolt, the fourth-largest airport in the London area for business aviation traffic, is to close temporarily in early 2018 for runway renovation.

The UK Ministry of Defence-run site – home to the Royal Air Force’s VIP transport-dedicated 32 Sqn – is a popular destination for business aircraft operators because of its location around 12 miles (20km) from the UK capital.

In 2016, Northolt recorded around 12,000 business aircraft movements: around 12% of all such take-offs and landings across London-area airports. This placed it behind London Luton airport, which recorded around 31,000 business aircraft movements the same year, plus Farnborough airport, with 25,000 and Biggin Hill with 14,000.

In a statement issued to FlightGlobal, the MoD says: “Investment is required in the runway at RAF Northolt to make improvements and extend its life. The runway will be closed from Spring 2018 in order to complete the required works.” The precise dates and length of the closure have yet to be determined.

Renovation work will also include the installation of an engineered materials arrestor system at the end of the almost 1,690m (5,530ft)-long runway, to safely stop an aircraft overrun.

Source: Flight International