Full Sutton Airfield, Full Sutton, York


Elevation – 86ft amsl

AFIS – 120.100 – Call sign – Full Sutton Radio (Radio Use – MANDATORY)

Runways – 1 Grass

Navigation Aids on aerodrome – None

Fuel – 100LL (by Arrangement)

Telephone Number (For PPR) – 01759 372717 (Office – Mon-Fri)

– 01759 373277 (Club – Weekends)

Operating hours, hangarage, parking, landing fees and landing cards – Please see website.


Full Sutton Airfield is an unlicensed aerodrome located 8nm east of York in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is located adjacent to, and south-east of, Full Sutton Prison.

The airfield was built as a class A airfield in 1943 and was one of the last World War II airfields when it opened in May of 1944. It featured 3 concrete runways and 30 parking positions. Facilities were available for approximately 1800 RAF personnel.

300px-halifax-mk3When the station opened in May 1944 it became the home base for the Handley Page Halifax bomber of 77 Squadron, which had to move out of its previous airfield Elvington to make room for an all French establishment. Halifax bombers flew from the airfield from mid May 1944 until shortly before the end of the war. During its relatively short World War II career, the airfield listed 95 Halifax bombers as having failed to return. At the end of hostilities, the Halifax bombers were traded for Dakota (RAF name for the C-47) transport aircraft and 77 squadron and became part of Transport Command.

Many other wartime stations in the area were soon placed under Care and Maintenance after VE-Day. Full Sutton was retained for flying however. In November 1945 231 Squadron was formed at the airfield to train on Lancastrian transports. The squadron remained until April 1946 after which activities at RAF Full Sutton slowly subsided. The airfield fell to Care and Maintenance in the spring of 1947.

meteorFull Sutton re-opened as a training facility in 1951 under 104 Refresher Flying School as a result of the war in Korea. On 26 Feb 1952, a Meteor T7 (WF831) from Full Sutton undershot an approach and collided with a goods train when it ran onto the railway track southwest of the airfield. Miraculously, both crew members survived. The Refresher Flying School remained here until the mid 1950s, after which it was earmarked for USAF occupation should the Cold War escalate.

In April 1959 a Thor missile installation under the charge of 102 Squadron arrived at the airfield. 102 Squadron remained at the airfield for four years after which it went the way of all Thor units: it was disbanded. The disbandment of 102 Squadron marked the end of the RAF-era at Full Sutton.

Location and amenities

Full Sutton airfield is a welcoming and friendly GA facilities that offers some of the most competitive Trial Lesson, Flight Instruction and Self Hire rates in the UK.

Only 8 miles from the historic and stunning York, Full Sutton offers a realistic fly in destination for a day out in York, as well as a stepping stone to the many fantastic airfields in that part of Yorkshire: Leeds East Airport, Sandtoft, Breighton and Elvington to name but a few.

Full Sutton provides and excels in offering that club atmosphere of GA flying, that so many other larger airfields try to emulate.

Pilot Information

Light refreshments are available at the club house at Full Sutton. The club house is a wonderful place to visit and caters for a steady stream of people, from the interested and inquisitive potential pilot, to the student, to the dedicated and professional flight instructors. There is always plenty to discuss in the club house and it is a valuable way of learning more about the wonderful world of aviation.

Flying in

fs4PPR is essential when flying in to Full Sutton Airfield due to the close proximity of HMP Full Sutton which borders the airfield and the prison avoidance flying procedures. It should be noted that the proximity of the prison to the airfield causes very few issues as long as you do not over fly the prison. Particular care should be given to drift in windy conditions, but an accurate circuit and proper pre-flight planning will prevent any issues arising.

Located within Class G airspace, it is likely that when arriving from the West, North or East, you will obtain a service from the ever helpful Linton Zone LARS and from the Southwest, South and South East, a service from Doncaster Radar.

When planning to attend, careful consideration needs to be given to Pocklington Aerodrome which is located 4nm to the south-east of the airfield where intensive gliding can take place.

Circuits are conducted at 800′ QFE and are Left Hand (LH) on Runway 04 and Right Hand (RH) on Runway 22.

Going forward

Steady maintenance and careful attention to the grass runway at Full Sutton occupy staff time and the hangars are full and flying is plentiful in the unrestricted Class G airspace that surrounds the airfield.

No immediate plans for expansion present themselves, but with a grass runway in better condition than many premiership football pitches and a healthy number of aircraft movements at the airfield, Full Sutton is an airfield that you very much need to get in your log book!

fs7In Summary

Flying in Class G airspace, that homely club feel, excellent self hire, aircraft availability and flight  training rates mean that Full Sutton is a simply fantastic little airfield, surrounded by plenty to see, do and visit.

When flying in this part of Yorkshire, it is quite realistic to visit a number of airfields in one day, but just make sure you visit Full Sutton, it really is a great place to land away.


Before visiting:

  1. Check the website
  2. Careful consideration to planning and Notam due to proximity to HMP Full Sutton.
  3. Arrange PPR

For videos showing arrival into and departure out of Full Sutton Airfield, a selection are available on the author’s YouTube channel.


The author would like to thank www.forgottenairfields.com, where a detailed former history of Full Sutton was located. Very little is written about RAF Full Sutton and this article would not have been as rounded without acknowledgement and information from the abpve.