Retford Gamston Airport, Nottinghamshire


Elevation – 87ft amsl

A/G Radio – 130.475 – Call sign – Gamston Radio

Runways – 2 – Asphalt

Navigation Aids on aerodrome – VOR/DME (on A/D) – 112.80

Fuel – AVGAS 100LL and Jet A1

Telephone Number (For PPR) – 01777 838521 (Ext 1)

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

Gamston Airport was originally built as a Royal Air Force aerodrome with three runways in a

triangular configuration (of which only one remains in common usage), and came into service in December of 1942.

Gamston was part of the RAF Training Command as well as a satellite airfield to RAF Ossington, to the south. In May 1943 the field was transferred to 93 Group, Bomber Command Training.

Vickers_Wellington_Mk_III_of_No._115_Squadron_RAF,_at_Marham,_Norfolk,_June_1942._CH16994In June of the same year No. 82 Operational Training Unit arrived with Wellington Mk. III and Mk. X bomber aircraft, Miles Martinets that were used as target tugs and fighters. A year later the unit became No. 86 Operational Training Unit with a new role, night training for Wellington bomber crews.

By October 1944, Gamston was transferred to No. 7 Group, Bomber Command and a month later No. 3 Aircrew School transferred from RAF Shepherds Grove.

1945 saw the disbanding of No. 3 Aircrew School and the arrival of No. 30 Operational Training Unit (OTO) transferred from Hixon, Staffordshire with more Wellington bomber aircraft. After the end of World War II all training ceased and the airport was closed.

In May 1953 the airport was reopened as a satellite airfield for nearby RAF Worksop and 211 Advanced Flying School was based there, flying Gloster Meteors and de Havilland Vampires.

The airport is today owned and operated by Gamston Aviation Limited which purchased the airfield in July 1993

Location and amenities

G20Retford Gamston Airport is located 2 miles south of Retford and it is close to Gamston. It is used mainly for small private aircraft as well as a base for several private flying schools which thrive at the airport. AOC based operators IAS Medical and Diamond Executive Aviation are also based on the airfield.

The Airport is ideally located if you wish to travel to Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with an excellent road network, as it is adjacent to the A1 and M18,along with sound rail links.

The airport offers high speed refuelling for fixed wing and rotary aircraft including jets and turbo props. Handling facilities are also available via the website.

Retford Gamston Airport describes itself as “Probably the friendliest and most flexible GA facility in the UK”, so this airport is an absolute must visit for the GA pilot. 90,000 sq ft of high quality hangarage support the busy GA operations at the airport and hangarage enquiries are welcome.

The Apron Cafe on the airport site is renown for its passion for providing high quality food and excellent service. The word cafe does not do it justice. The facilities, staff and high quality reasonably priced food are outstanding. They maintain their own website with opening times and menus available. Make sure you pay them a visit when you attend.

Pilot Information

G10Retford Gamston Airport is located within Doncaster Sheffield CTA, Class D airspace and all arrivals and departures are to contact Doncaster Radar 126.225 for clearance.

A standard overhead join is preferred for visiting GA pilots with circuits at 1000′ ft QFE. Circuits are Left Hand on Runway 03 and 32 and Right Hand on 14 and 21.

As the Retford Gamston ATZ lies partly within and partly beneath the Doncaster CTA, there is a Local Flying Area (LFA) procedure which is detailed on your airfield approach plate and should be studied in advance, but is easy to understand and will cause no issues for a visiting pilot. When active, a “Gamston Local Flying Area Active” message will be broadcast on the Doncaster ATIS 134.950.

Visual Reference Points (VRP’s) are also detailed on the airfield approach plate

Flying in

Flying in to Retford Gamston Airport is a simple procedure, however time taken to study your chart will be time well spent, due to the proximity of Doncaster Sheffield Class D airspace.

GAMSTON ROUTEHaving flown in from City Airport Manchester, Barton, the procedure was simple, obtaining a Basic Service and clearance to enter Doncaster Sheffield airspace prior to Coal Aston, then using the Thoresbury Lake VRP before turning in towards the airport.

A visiting pilot will be treated to a variety of aircraft, from vintage single engine pistons, to corporate and private jets. All of which are integrated into the operation of the airport with the same professional courtesy and ease.

Going forward

G15Although there are no major plans for changes to the airport, a continual program of redevelopment and refurbishment is ongoing, such as hangars being erected. The airport is well manicured and is enjoyed by a wide variety of aircraft and visiting pilots. The cafe is popular with non-aviation visitors alike and the whole airport is a well oiled machine with a friendly welcome to visiting aviators and non-aviators alike.

In Summary

A fine and friendly GA airport that is just as content dealing with a vintage airplane in the circuit, as with a corporate jet on an instrument approach. An ideally located airport for travel to Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire alike.

Superb fayre is on offer at The Apron Cafe and is an absolute must visit, for the attending pilot.

G2For those pilots and pedestrians reading this, who have yet to have Retford Gamston Airport in their log books, then I can strongly recommend you take a visit and plan that flight. Everyone is very welcome at Retford Gamston and you are made to feel as such!


Before visiting:

  1. Check the website
  2. Study your Approach Plates due to the proximity of Doncaster Class D airspace.
  3. Speak with the tower (extension 1) for PPR and arrival questions. They are very friendly and helpful.
  4. Enjoy your visit to Retford Gamston

For videos showing VRP’s, arrivals and departures to and from Retford Gamston Airport, a selection are available on the author’s YouTube channel.