Fairoaks opened as a private airstrip in 1931, but was signed up for military use in 1936 and became RAF Fairoaks during World War II. It was used as a training airfield, with No. 18 Elementary & Reserve Flying School being formed on 1 October 1937 equipped with De Havilland Tiger Moths. 6,000 pilots were trained at the airfield, mostly in Tiger Moths. The unit was re-designated No. 18 Reserve Flying School on 14 May 1947 and was managed by Universal Flying Services. The Tiger Moths were replaced by De Havilland Canada Chipmunks in 1951 but the school was disbanded on 31 July 1953.
In the early postwar years, the airfield was managed by Universal Flying Services, which operated a flying training school and provided aircraft maintenance services. The airfield was sold by auction in 1967. Alan Mann Helicopters began operations there in 1968 after which The Alan Mann Group became the operator. The hard runway was constructed in 1979. The Alan Mann Group sold its interests in 2008.
The on site café is the centre of the most activity so go and see them and watch the aircraft taxi past. There can be a real mix of LAA type planes to executive props arriving.
Tel: 01276 857 700