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.

Doceo Duco Volo - 'I teach, I guide, I fly'


Group Captain Andy Baron BEng MA MSc RAF

Group Captain Baron was appointed as Station Commander RAF Shawbury in December 2022.

Joining the RAF as a helicopter pilot in 1998, his career included service in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, flying both the Puma and Chinook helicopters. He has completed staff appointments in the Ministry of Defence, Permanent Joint Headquarters, Air Command and Joint Helicopter Command, and operationally in the US Combined Air Ops Centre and as the Deputy Air Component Commander in the Middle East, notably during Operation PITTING.

Who's based here

Where we parent

Key dates

  • 1917 - RAF 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 Atr Traffic Control School, was disbanded.
  • 1996 - Chipmunks of No. 8 Air Experience Flight left for disposal at RAF Newton.


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.

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