The long awaited arrival of aircraft and personnel from Fife to Moray has begun with the first Typhoon jets having already been deployed to Lossiemouth.
Four aircraft are understood to have moved in at the Moray base – the first of three squadrons of Typhoons that will eventually revitalise RAF Lossiemouth and the local community.
Preparations for the move have been ongoing since the announcement in 2011 that Lossiemouth would be retained as the only Scottish RAF base – at the expense of Leuchars.
The Moray base is in the midst of an £85million investment as a result, with millions already spent on new facilities for the Typhoons including facilities for civilian staff.
An RAF spokesman said: “The phased transition of Typhoon Force elements based at Leuchars to RAF Lossiemouth is now under way.
“Aircraft and personnel from 6 Squadron have begun to relocate to Moray and will be followed in the autumn, as scheduled, by 1 (Fighter) Squadron.
“Throughout the transition period the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) North role will be maintained at RAF Leuchars until its transfer to Lossiemouth in the autumn.”
In preparation for the move RAF Lossiemouth has published an updated leaflet for local distribution explaining new flying rules that will result from the transfer of the QRA to Moray.
The leaflet outlines the history of flying at the Moray base and explains that while general flying for training purposes will remain between 8am and 11pm on weekdays and never at the weekend where it can be avoided, the needs of the QRA will see flying at any time.
It explains: “The Quick Reaction Alert Force is on standby 24 hours a day, therefore the Typhoons of the QRA will fly at any time of the day should the situation arise – but only when absolutely necessary.”
QRA flights operating from RAF Leuchars were called on average once a month to intercept unidentified aircraft approach UK airspace. However, pilots will also require to be trained in night flying so additional after-dark flights can be expected from RAF Lossiemouth in the future.