The Station

RAF Shawbury provides world-class training to around 900 personnel a year, from the UK Armed Forces and international partners.

No.1 Flying Training School trains helicopter aircrew for the Armed Forces. The Central Flying School (Helicopter) delivers Qualified Helicopter Instructors.

The Defence College of Air and Space Operations trains Air Traffic Controllers, Weapons Controllers, Identification Officers and Flight Operations personnel.

I teach, I guide, I fly


Wing Commander Alan Jones MSc BSc MIET MCMI RAF

Wing Commander Jones was appointed Station Commander in December 2023.

His career has included service in Germany, Iraq, Falkland Islands, West Africa, and Cyprus.  He is a NATO Senior Staff Course graduate and has completed senior staff appointments in NATO’s Allied Air Command, HQ Air Command, and in the Strategic Command’s Defence Centre of Training Support. 

Who's based here



Where we parent


The Station started in 1917, with No. 29 (Flying Training) Wing and the Aeroplane Repair Section of the Royal Flying Corps, but reverted to agricultural use in 1920.

In 1938 Shawbury re-activated with No. 27 Maintenance Unit and No. 11 Flying Training School, the latter renamed as No. 11 (Pilot) Advanced Flying unit in 1942 and as the Central Navigation School in 1944.

A famous long-distance flight was made from RAF Shawbury in 1944 when 'Aries', a Lancaster bomber, departed on the first round-the-world flight by a British aircraft.

The arrival in 1950 of the School of Air Traffic Control created the Central Navigation and Control School. In 1963 the Navigation Wing relocated. The Central Air Traffic Control School was renamed the School of Air Operations Control in 2016 and, with the School of Air Battlespace Management, became the Defence College of Air and Space Operations in 2021.

Key dates

1917   RFC Shawbury opened.

1938   RAF Shawbury re-activated.

1950   The School of Air Traffic Control started training at RAF Shawbury.

1976   Helicopter flying training commenced at RAF Shawbury.

1989   Marshall's Jet Provost fleet, that had supported the Central Air Traffic Control School, was disbanded.

1996   Chipmunks of No. 8 Air Experience Flight left for disposal at RAF Newton.

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