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Coventry Airport Air Cadets Land New Home

09 Oct

One of Coventry’s oldest Air Cadet Squadrons, 84 (Coventry Airport) Squadron, formed 75 years ago in 1945 and based at Coventry Airport since 1963 has relocated to a new home, just five miles south of the city, at Princethorpe College.

84 Squadron’s much-loved home on the Baginton Airfield site is being demolished as part of Coventry and Warwickshire Development Partnership’s Gateway South Scheme, a project that is providing new industrial and warehouse space, new jobs and includes the creation of a community park just south of the Airport.

The old squadron building, named after Wing Commander A McKinlay who officially opened the building back in 1963 and has served the community well with generations of cadets parading through its doors.

Officer Commanding, Pilot Officer Kevin Fairhurst, explains, “Whilst we are incredibly sad to be losing our much-loved home and our long-standing connection to Coventry’s airport; the loss of our building has given us the opportunity to evaluate the facilities a modern 21st century cadet organisation needs. 

“We started looking for a new home earlier this year and when the chance to move to Princethorpe College arose it was almost too good to be true and very much an opportunity not to be missed.  At the College we will have access to modern, well equipped classrooms, a large purpose-built sports hall, a playground big enough to parade on all day and access to extensive grounds for outward bound activities.  The College will also be accommodating the Squadron’s state of the art flight simulator, the only one of its kind within the cadet force, hand built using a surviving downed aircraft and modelled on a Grob Tutor, the RAF elementary flying training plane.”

“Our unit is thriving, serving the young people of south Coventry, Leamington and surrounding areas and at Princethorpe we have the facilities we need to provide the challenge, excitement and adventure the RAF Air Cadets are known for.  We feel privileged to be able to continue working with young people in such an excellent location, with space to expand and grow, the future for the squadron is bright.”

Speaking for the College, Headmaster Ed Hester added, “We are delighted that 84 Squadron has chosen to make its new home here at the College.  Princethorpe has had previous connections to the cadet force having been home to a detached flight of another local squadron back in the early 1970s, so it is wonderful to have them back. I am sure many of our pupils, as well as young people from the local community will be interested in joining the squadron and we look forward to seeing them in action.”

The RAF Air Cadets is open to all young people aged 12 to 20 and will meet every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning at the College, for further information please see Mr McCollin, contact oc.84@aircadets.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/84SqnATC/