Work starts on �15m runway improvements at RAF Mildenhall

The US Air Force is to spend �15m on improving the runways at one of its Suffolk air bases.

Taxiways linked to the main runway at RAF Mildenhall are being extended in a project that should be completed by April next year.

The project will mean heavy aircraft will not have to reverse, or back-taxi, when using the runway. It is hoped that the work will reduce noise pollution and allow aircraft to get on and off the runway more quickly.

Major Glenn Cameron, of the USAF, said: 'With this infrastructure update it allows us to get the aircraft on and off the runway a little bit faster and not put more wear and tear on both the aircraft and the runway. It'll be all contained within the base perimeter and, if anything, it will reduce noise by virtue of reduced amount of thrust required to turn these big aircraft around when they have to do a back-taxi.'

The aircraft include the KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refuelling plane and the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster cargo planes, which are the largest used by the USAF.Maj Cameron said the project was a sign of the USAF's continued commitment to RAF Mildenhall.

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He added: 'It's one of those opportunities to find a good partner and build with them and I'd say we're here for quite a while.'

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