Croydon to become anti-terrorism base during London 2012 Olympics
CROYDON is being primed to become an anti-terror base during this summer's Olympics, the Advertiser can reveal.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is looking to station weapons and a defence radar at Kenley Aerodrome, a former RAF station that was vital during the Battle of Britain, to safeguard London from air attacks during the Games.
Dog walkers and ramblers were baffled when a 20-strong unit from RAF Skampton in Lincolnshire descended on the historic airstrip on Friday to test equipment.
Flight Lieutenant Mark Platt, of No 1 Air Control Centre, who tested equipment at the site, said its open location was "exactly" what was needed.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
He said: "We are trying the radar in this location to see what coverage we can get.
"It is purely because it is an open field. That is the reason why we came here. And it is away from trees and hills, which is exactly what you need."
Aircraft flying in restricted airspace, stretching from Gatwick Airport to Luton, during the Olympics will have to be fitted with transponders or give 24 hours' notice before flying.
Manager of the Kenley Aerodrome-based Surrey Hills Gliding Club, Steve Codd, said it would be bad for business because responders cost about £3,000 to install, while the club often needs to take off at shorter notice than 24 hours.
He added: "The biggest thing is that we can't take off during the Olympics and wouldn't be able to operate with a great big radar in the middle of the airfield.
"We're fighting just to be able to fly in restricted airspace."
Despite reports that the terror threat for the games will be "severe", the MoD has refused to say how serious the threat might be.
A spokesman said: "To monitor and control airspace during the Olympic period, the MoD will be integrating radar from both civil and military air traffic control, as well as mobile radars like the one temporarily recently deployed at Kenley, to create a comprehensive picture of all air traffic.
"If additional radars and surface-to-air weapons are deployed, they will be sited where they will be most effective. We will not discuss specific locations.
"For obvious reasons the MoD will not comment on threats or associated intelligence."