26 December, 2020

Helicopter operations return to Devonport naval base after a ten-year gap.

A Dauphin helicopter has landed in Devonport Naval Base – as helicopter operations return after a ten-year gap.

The old helipad at Weston Mill made way for the revamp of the area to make way for RM Tamar and the centre of amphibious excellence.

Since then regular helicopter flights have been diverted to a small facility across the Tamar at HMS Raleigh.

The pad is principally used by personnel from Fleet Operational Sea Training, flown to and from ships undergoing training and assessment off the coast of Plymouth – which has meant a journey of about an hour from Devonport to Torpoint, rather than five to ten minutes to FOST headquarters in HMS Drake.

The result at Bull Point – beyond the mock village used for disaster relief training – is a new multi-million pound, Helicopter Operating Facility.

The facility features a meteorological observation station and provision to refuel visiting helicopters. As well as Dauphins of the Fleet Helicopter Support Unit, based at Newquay, the new pad can host Merlin and Wildcat Helicopters.

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