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Hawarden Airport , is a small airport in Hawardenmarker in north east Walesmarker. It is situated west southwest of the city of Chestermarker, which lies across the border in Englandmarker. The airport is owned and operated by BAE Systemsmarker. A long term tenancy agreement has been signed with Airbus UK, giving rights as the sole operator of the site. At the airport there is a large Airbus factory which produces aircraft wings and also a Raytheon aircraft factory.

The aircraft factory located on the airfield is known as the Broughtonmarker factory, named after the nearest village.

Hawarden Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P786) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Airbus UK Limited).

History

The aircraft factory at Broughton was established during the second world war as a Shadow Factory for Vickers-Armstrongs Limited. The factory produced 5,540 Vickers Wellingtons and 235 Avro Lancasters. Post-war the factory was used by Vickers to build 28,000 aluminium prefab bungalows.

The RAF's No.48 Maintenance Unit was formed at Hawarden on 1 September 1939 and until 1 July 1957 stored, maintained and scrapped many thousands of military aircraft, including Halifaxes, Wellingtons, Horsa glider and DH Mosquitos.

No.3 Ferry Pilots Pool/Ferry Pool, Air Transport Auxiliary, was based at Hawarden between 5.11.40 and 30.11.45. Its veteran pilots ferried thousands of military aircraft from the factories and maintenance facilities at Hawarden and elsewhere to and from RAF and Naval squadrons throughout the UK.

On 1 July 1948 The de Havilland Aircraft Company took over the Vickers factory and over the years built the following aircraft types:



The company became part of Hawker Siddeley Aviation in the 1960s and the production of the Hawker Siddeley HS125 business jet, designed by de Havilland, became the main aircraft type produced by the factory for nearly forty years. Production was moved to the United Statesmarker when the 125 business was sold to the Raytheon Corporation. Raytheon still have a 125 and Beech 400 support centre on the airfield, renamed Hawker Beechcraft Ltd in early 2007.

Since the early 1970s the Broughton factory has been the centre of wing production for all the Airbus aircraft.

Raytheon System opened a new facility in 2003, to support the Bombardier Sentinel R1 entering service with the Royal Air Force.

Airlines and destinations

Although there have been scheduled services to Hawarden in past years, there are currently no public scheduled passenger flights to the airport; most flights are chartered, or corporate, but the airport has frequent air freight flights provided by the Airbus Beluga to transport aircraft wings to Toulousemarker, Hamburg Finkenwerder and Bremenmarker for Airbus. The Beluga also occasionally visits Airbus' second UK site at Filton, Bristol. There are also regular bmi Regional Embraer EMB-145 shuttle flights to Bristol Filtonmarker and Toulousemarker for Airbus workers. A number of privately owned light aircraft are based at Hawarden. Police aircraft also operate from here. North Wales Military Air Services are also based here offering maintenance for classic military aircraft, such as the Jet Provost, Strikemaster and L-39, with three Strikemasters, one Jet Provost and an Aero L-39 operating from Hawarden for airshows and pilot training.

There is much private and general activity at the airport, adding considerably to the number of aircraft movements at this airport. Operators include Chester Handling Services, which provides air taxi and charter services, Flintshire Flying School, NWMAS, HeliAdventure Chester, and Cheshire Police base one Islander aircraft at the airfield.

References

  1. Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences
  2. Flintshire Flying School
  • Barfield, Norman. (2005) Broughton - from Wellington to Airbus. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2130-1
  • Smith, Ron. (2005) British Built Aircraft (Volume 5 Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3487-X



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