People Who Know How

Llanbedr Airfield open for testing


Airfield open for remotely piloted aircraft systems testing

Airfield open for remotely piloted aircraft systems testing

In partnership with Llanbedr Airfield Estates (LAE), we have declared the airfield officially ‘open for business’ in support of test flight operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The opening comes after infrastructure refurbishment supported by the Welsh Government, and the successful development of processes and procedures to satisfy Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulatory requirements for air traffic management and airfield services.

The announcement was made at the Commercial UAV Show – billed as the largest gathering of the commercial UAV world ever assembled – at London Olympia, 21-22 October.

Flying is scheduled to start in early 2015, subject to a 90-day notice period for establishing segregated airspace through the provision of a Temporary Danger Area (TDA). A draft TDA detailing the typical size and shape of the segregated airspace for RPAS operations from Llanbedr Airfield has been through consultation with the General Aviation Community, and deemed acceptable by the CAA for progression to formal submission to meet customer demand. The TDA links Llanbedr Airfield to the existing RPAS capability over Cardigan Bay and South Wales, expanding Europe’s pre-eminent instrumented RPAS air/sea/land test range.

The airfield has a 7500ft runway enabling the operation of all classes and sizes of RPAS, augmenting the current capability for small and medium RPAS testing at Aberporth, South Wales. The newly expanded Welsh RPAS environment will ensure that the UK maintains a leading role in the development of RPAS in Europe. The development also strengthens Llanbedr Airfield’s position as a prime candidate for hosting the UK Spaceport.

This is an important moment for QinetiQ and Llanbedr Airfield. We’ve worked hard with the support of the Department for Transport and Wales Government to get the airfield open for business. As leaders in the test and evaluation of RPAS and experts in creating segregated airspace, we believe that Llanbedr is the ideal location to come to undertake testing.

Jeremy Howitt, UAS UK & Europe Campaign Manager

To find out more information on Llanbedr Airfield, please visit