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Dounreay never actually opened as a military airfield due to a combination of poor weather conditions, official vacillation and one runway (which now acts as approach road to the decommissioned nuclear fast reactor dome) being too short. Not until 1967 did supportive light aircraft land on an extended alternative runway instead of at Wick as before.

Also known as: HMS Tern II
County: Highland
Current Status: Nuclear facility
Date: April 1944 (Care & Maintenance) - March 1993
Current Use: Disused
Used By: FAA / Civil
Landing Surface Types: Paved
Aircraft Roles: General aviation (main role) / Naval aviation
The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):
  • Caithness West Community Council

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 819 Sqn
  • Northern Air Taxis
  • Vernair

Construction of the Dounreay Fast Reactor. Courtesy of DounreayTV

Construction of the breeder reactor at Dounreay, 1957. Courtesy of British Pathé

The Duke of Edinburgh visiting Dounreay, 1957. Courtesy of British Pathé

Film of the construction of the Dounreay Fast Reactor, produced in 1959. Courtesy of DounreayTV

Footage of Dounreay in 1959. Courtesy of British Pathé


Plan of Dounreay, c. 1940s. © Royal Navy Research Archive. Click here for more information.

Parent(s)/HQ Airfield(s):


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