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Major upgrade set for RAF Waddington runway

RAF Waddington will undergo a £35.4m operation to rebuild its runway and improve airfield facilities.

The current runway, which spans 9,000 feet, has not been upgraded since the 1960s.

The re-build will be the first in Europe to be constructed from recycled waste materials, extending the perimeter track to improve airfield safety.

As part of new ‘greener construction practices, 100,000 tonnes of materials will be excavated and recycled on site.

Work will begin in July 2014, with a view for completion by summer 2015.

During the renovation period, aircraft will be relocated to other bases across the county.

Satellite view of the RAF Waddington base near Lincoln. Image: Google Maps
Satellite view of the RAF Waddington base near Lincoln. Image: Google Maps

The investment for the project will be provided by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which will extend the runway’s operational life by another 25 years.

RAF Waddington uses a range of airborne intelligence systems to achieve its mission. These include the E-3D Sentry and Sentinel R1 as well as the most recent addition to the ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) fleet which is soon to enter service – the Boeing RC-135V/W Rivet Joint intelligence aircraft.

Dan Willmott, DIO project manager, said: “DIO’s priority is to support our armed forces as they prepare for operations.

“This is the first major piece of work tendered through our new capital works programme. The upgrade will deliver state-of-the-art airfield infrastructure and house a brand new ISTAR capability.”

RAF Waddington’s station commander, Group Captain Rich Barrow, said:”The existing 9,000-foot-long runway has reached the end of its lifespan.

“For RAF Waddington to continue to deliver on its mission to generate world class expeditionary surveillance and intelligence capabilities, the runway infrastructure must be modified to support our aircraft, and our highly qualified pilots and ground staff.”