Machrihanish Airbase

Background to the Airbase

RAF Machrihanish is a former Royal Air Force station located near Machrihanish and just west of Campbeltown, at the tip of the Kintyre Peninsula.

Two airfields known as Machrihanish have existed, the first was operational during the First World War and was used by the Royal Naval Air Service and RAF, before closing at the end of the Second World War. A second airfield, which was constructed during the Second World War, was used extensively by the Fleet Air Arm during the war. During the 1960s it was redeveloped and became an RAF station and was made available to the US Navy as a nuclear weapons store and base for components of the US Navy SEALs Naval Special Warfare Group Two.

The draw-down of US military forces in Europe after the end of the Cold War resulted in the US Navy leaving Machrihanish and handing back their facilities to the Ministry of Defence on 30th June 1995, after which the station became MOD Machrihanish and was retained on a care and maintenance basis.

In May 2012, the station was sold to the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) under community right-to-buy legislation. MACC now operates the site as a business park, with part of the airfield incorporating Campbeltown Airport.

Key Facts

Date: 2012

Location: Machrihanish Business Park

Website: MACC

Machrihanish Business Park