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Former RAF Coltishall runway could be brought back into action by aircraft manufacturers

PUBLISHED: 14:54 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 18 September 2018

The end of the runway at the former RAF Coltishall Picture: MIKE PAGE

The end of the runway at the former RAF Coltishall Picture: MIKE PAGE

Archant

Aircraft could once again be taking to the skies at a disused runway which served the Royal Air Force for decades.

Flashback photograph to the RAF Coltishall runway being put to use. Picture: Sam RobbinsFlashback photograph to the RAF Coltishall runway being put to use. Picture: Sam Robbins

For many years Scottow Enterprise Park was home to the former RAF base in Coltishall, before military operations were moved from there.

However, its relationship with flight could soon be restored by one of the companies now based on site.

Aircraft manufacturers Swift relocated their last year, however, up until now the company has been solely grounded in its work on location.

The company has applied to both North Norfolk and Broadland councils for permission to make use of the former runway to launch flight testing of its crafts.

Flashback picture to RAF Coltishall's runway being put into use. Picture: Archant LibraryFlashback picture to RAF Coltishall's runway being put into use. Picture: Archant Library

If approved, it would see the runway put to same use it had for more than 60 years - though with neither the same volume or frequency.

In an application to both councils, it said the movements would be limited, but would allow for testing and delivery of the aircrafts manufactured on site.

The application says: “The existing runway, whilst a testament to a proud legacy, remains unused. Scottow Enterprise Park is clear in the priority given to remaining a good neighbour to local communities and use of the runway has thus far not been proposed for this reason.

“The Swift Aircraft proposal requires only very limited runway use whilst providing a significant boost for British aviation and innovation, as such SEP believe the proposal can come forward without jeopardising this relationship.”

Businesses at Scottow Enterprise Park. Dave Stanbridge MD at Swift Aircraft.  Picture: ANTONY KELLYBusinesses at Scottow Enterprise Park. Dave Stanbridge MD at Swift Aircraft. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

In support of the bid, a noise assessment has been carried out aiming to ascertain how much of an impact it would have on the neighbouring area.

The assessment estimates noise levels would be between 48 and 49 decibels, below a level considered disruptive by government guidelines.

The application has also received a number of responses from members of the public supporting the proposals,

A resident of Rollesby Place, Badersfield, said: “The airfield is a valuable local asset which has a special relationship with the community surrounding it. It would appear a waste not to use such a facility to support local business initiatives and encourage much needed employment and investment.”

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