Warnings over night flights as Lossie takes on maritime war role

Maritime patrol aircraft will be operating out of Lossiemouth for two weeks
Maritime patrol aircraft will be operating out of Lossiemouth for two weeks

MORAY RESIDENTS ARE being warned to expect a greater level of night flying when air forces of the world begin operations from RAF Lossiemouth from tomorrow.

The bi-annual Joint Warrior exercise will see a contingent of Maritime Patrol Aircraft operating out of RAF Lossiemouth between October 5 and 16.

Several aircraft have already arrived at the Moray base with more expected this weekend for an exercise that involves 31 warships and submarines, 60 aircraft and around 6500 military personnel from 14 nations.

As well as the resident Typhoon force at Lossiemouth, who will have a role in the exercise, there will be P8 Poseidon, P3 Orion and Atlantique aircraft at the Moray base. Crews from the Canadian, German, French and United States air and naval forces will be based in Moray and staying in local hotels during the exercise.

Flight Lieutenant Heidi Billany, who is operations officer at RAF Lossiemouth, said: “The hosting of these exercise participants will involve every section at RAF Lossiemouth.

“In order to facilitate each visiting Units’ individual requirements for the Exercise, planning has been ongoing since April to ensure that we are ready.

“It will be an extremely busy fortnight for the Station and the airfield itself. Particular challenges will involve working with different coalition countries, operating large aircraft from an airfield which is set up for much smaller, fast jets and fitting it all around RAF Lossiemouth’s own ongoing high operational tempo, essential training and Quick Reaction Alert.”

While normal flying operations from the Moray base take place from 8am to 11pm – barring QRA flights – locals are warned that during the exercise flights will be conducted outwith these hours.

Flt Lt Billany added: “There will be some departures and recoveries during the weekend but these should be single aircraft moves and will mostly take place in daylight hours.

“Engineers will service the aircraft as they land and prior to departures and this may take place between the hours of 11pm and 8am, all steps will be taken to minimise the associated noise.

“The maritime patrol aircraft may have a noticeably different noise pattern from the Tornados and Typhoons usually based at RAF Lossiemouth. However, due to the nature of the task the MPA will carry out during the Exercise it is likely that there will be fewer departures and returns.”