The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows will move to RAF Waddington by 2022 from their current base at RAF Scampton. However, the team will continue to train over Scampton retaining their reserved block of airspace.
A safety assessment deemed RAF Waddington to be the best possible home for The Red Arrows, and the relocation, which was first announced in 2018, will now move into the assessment and planning stage.
Air Vice-Marshal Warren James said: “I am delighted that we now have confirmation that the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team – the Red Arrows – will remain in the heart of Lincolnshire.
“The Royal Air Force remains committed to the strong links it has with the county and a considerable amount of work has been carried out to secure a suitable future home location.
“The Red Arrows are a highly skilled and professional team showcasing the very best of the British precision and leadership for industry on a global scale, and inspiring next generation interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through an air and space power lens.
“The announcement of this move will provide much needed stability for their future endeavours.”
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said “As we saw during the recent VE Day celebrations, the Red Arrows have a proud and prominent place in British culture and have long demonstrated the best of what the UK Armed Forces offer with their world-renowned skills, discipline and teamwork. It is good news that we have an excellent base for them at RAF Waddington, and I am delighted that they will be able to continue to practice their extraordinary aerobatic talents above RAF Scampton in their home county of Lincolnshire.”
As Scampton closes, the Ministry of Defence is looking at how best to preserve the heritage of the Scampton site which is closely associated with 617 Squadron and the ‘Dambusters’ raid in 1943. During the Cold War Scampton remained part of the RAF’s bomber force as home to Vulcans.
The closure of Scampton and the move to RAF Waddington by the RAF Red Arrows is part of a 4 billion plan to upgrade the MoD estate and modernise facilities and infrastructure over the next 10 years. Other units that will move include the Air Control Centre the bulk of which will move to RAF Boulmer in Northumberland and the Mobile Meteorological Unit which will relocate to several bases.