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Olympics security measures cause tension already

PUBLISHED: 16:59 05 December 2011 | UPDATED: 14:10 10 October 2012

Pilot reader Graham Colover was one of many Biggin Hill flyers to be surprised on Saturday 26 November by the presence of a fully manned Rapier ground-to-air missile battery, sited close to the Kent airfield’s ground VOR array

Pilot reader Graham Colover was one of many Biggin Hill flyers to be surprised on Saturday 26 November by the presence of a fully manned Rapier ground-to-air missile battery, sited close to the Kent airfield’s ground VOR array.

“This was a one-day live exercise by the local TA air defence battery,” Biggin safety and security manager John Dugdale told Pilot, assuring us that the missiles themselves were inert practice rounds. “We were approached by 265 Home Counties Volunteer Battery, who were looking for an airfield where they could practise in a realistic environment.” Might an RAF airfield not have offered a better location? “The problem is that the volunteers get together over weekends, and the most convenient base, Northolt, is quiet on Saturdays and Sundays. We were happy to agree to a one-off deployment at Biggin Hill in support of the UK’s armed forces.”

There are no plans to base rapier missiles at Biggin Hill during the London Olympics, at least at the moment…

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