HC Deb 13 December 1945 vol 417 cc793-4W
Sir R. Glyn

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he will circulate in the Official Report the total number of airfields constructed during the period September, 1938, to September, 1945; how many of these were designed for heavy bombers; how many for fighter type of aircraft; what was the approximate cost of each type; how many of them have grass runways; how many of each type are now retained for operational and storage requirements, respectively; and how many have been returned to their former use.

Mr. Strachey,

pursuant to his reply (OFFICAL REPORT, 12th December, 1945,Vol. 417, c. 394) supplied the following

1. Number of airfields constructed in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland from September, 1938, to September,1945 (includes airfields taken over and extended) 560
2. Average cost in 1945 of Bomber airfield £1,000,000
3. Average cost in 1945 of Fighter airfield £850,000
4. Number of airfields with grass Runways 167
5. Number of airfields retained for—
(a) Flying use, to meet present requirements of all services and departments 252
(b) In use at present by ground units, storage use by R.A..F. or ground use by other departments (including 10 U.S.A.A.F.) 265
6. Number of airfields—
(a) under derequisition 34
(b) returned to Civil Aviation 6

Notes.—(i) The number of airfields originally designed for 'heavy bomber and,for fighter types of aircraft cannot be satisfactorily determined. Changes in the.tactical situation have led to airfields designed for one type of aircraft being modified for use by other types and to some airfields being designed suitable for use by any type of aircraft.

(ii) Since 1938, there have been considerable developments in the design and requirements of airfields, together with general increases in prices.- For purposes of comparison, costs in May, 1941, were as follows:

Bomber airfield £550,000
Fighter airfield £500,000

(iii) The figure for grass airfields includes advance landing grounds, relief landing grounds and grass airfields previously in civil use which have been taken over for training purposes. No comparable average figure of cost for grass airfields is readily available. The cost varied considerably according to the amount of work involved.