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Rochester Airport

A view of runways at Rochester Airport 2012

Rochester Airport is important to many people living in Medway and is something that Medway Council has committed to securing a long-term future for.

First established in 1933, the Rochester Airport site is owned by Medway Council and has been leased since 2000 to an airport operator – Rochester Airport Limited.

Many of the buildings and facilities at the site date back to the 1930s and are reaching the end of their useful life. We need to think now about how we are going to safeguard the important aviation activity that happens at the airport and help improve community access to this unique facility along with exploring opportunities to provide additional land for businesses.

A Masterplan has been produced to set out the proposals, which include:

  • Major improvements to existing airport facilities on their current location at the airfield
  • Better public access to the site for heritage, leisure and tourism
  • A new permanent home for the nationally recognised Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS)
  • Creation of new parallel paved and grass runways to replace the existing 02-20 grass runway, as well as improvements to navigation aids and outdated facilities
  • Closure of the old 16/34 grass runway
  • Development of around 12 hectares of the old 16/34 runway area for hi-tech business, science or technology development next to the existing Rochester Airport Industrial Estate.

On 23 January 2014 Medway Council approved the Rochester Airport Masterplan, following a technical assessment of the site's opportunities and consultation with residents and businesses.

These pages and links explain the adopted Masterplan (pdf 10,989KB) and the process that has been followed to get to this point.

Your Questions Answered

The council has been working for a number of years to identify a financially viable way to protect Rochester Airport and provide greater public access for aviation and heritage/leisure use. The council cannot afford to pay for these improvements without private sector funding.

Working with airport specialists and neighbouring businesses including BAE Systems, we have evaluated a number of different options for the future of Rochester Airport. We believe this proposal achieves the right balance for local residents, businesses and airport users.

A list of key airport questions answered (pdf 436KB) is available to download.