Fairford AB Airport

Overview summary

Fairford AB airport, also known as RAF Fairford is currently a standby RAF station in Gloucestershire, England.

As Fairford AB’s airport runway has a length of just over 3,000m and has NASA-trained fire and medical staff, it was an ideal UK location for NASA’s Space Shuttle, making it the only Transoceanic Abort Landing site in the UK. In addition, as the runway is rated with an unrestricted load-bearing capacity, it can support any aircraft with any type of load.

For private jet hire to or from Fairford AB Airport call PrivateFly on +44 (0)20 7100 6960 (24 hours).

History | Location | Facts


The purpose of building the airfield in 1944 was to serve during WW2 as an airfield for British and American troop carriers and for the D-Day incision of Normandy.

For strategic bomber operations for the cold war in 1950, the airfield was transferred to the US Air Force and a 3,000m runway was constructed between 1950-1953 for long-range bomber operations. Between the years of 1969-1977, Fairford airfield served as the British test centre for the Concorde aircraft.

The latest significant use of the airfield was in 2003 when it was used as airfield for the US Air Force B-52s during the Iraq War.


Fairford AB Airport is roughly 1.4 miles away from the centre of Fairford and approximately a five minute drive. Fairford itself is a small town in Gloucestershire, England. It lies in the Cotswolds on the River Coln.


Type: Royal Air Force Station

Owner: Ministry of Defence

Events: Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) annual air display. RIAT is one of the world’s largest air shows, claiming its fame in the Guinness World Records book in 2003 as the largest Military air show ever (535 aircraft were present)

Elevation: 87m above sea level

IATA code: FFD