RAF Luqa

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RAF Luqa
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Malta
RAF Luqa crest.jpg
RAF Luqa is located in Malta
RAF Luqa
RAF Luqa
Shown within Malta
Coordinates 35°51′27″N 014°28′39″E / 35.85750°N 14.47750°E / 35.85750; 14.47750Coordinates: 35°51′27″N 014°28′39″E / 35.85750°N 14.47750°E / 35.85750; 14.47750
Type Royal Air Force station
Site information
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Air Force
Site history
Built 1940 (1940)
In use 1941-1979 (1979)
Airfield information
Elevation 78 metres (256 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
05/23  Asphalt
13/31  Asphalt

Royal Air Force Luqa was a Royal Air Force station located on the island of Malta, now developed into the Malta International Airport.

It was the location of RAF Mediterranean Command headquarters of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Particularly during the Siege of Malta from 1941 to 1943, RAF Luqa was a very important base for British Commonwealth forces fighting against Italy and Germany for naval control of the Mediterranean and for ground control of North Africa. Air combat over and near Malta was some of the most ferocious of the war, and a series of airfields were built on the small, rocky island: at Luqa, Ta' Qali, and Hal Far, plus satellite fields at Safi, Qrendi and on Malta's second island of Gozo.

History

Second World War

Post war

After the war, Luqa remained an important RAF base, serving during the Suez Crisis of 1956, but also served as Malta's main civilian airport. The RAF left in 1979 following a British government decision not to renew the lease on the station from the Maltese. The payments demanded were several times the previous payments under the previous lease. The last squadron to leave was 203 Squadron (BAe Nimrod) which left Luqa for good in the morning of 1st April 1979. In 1957, 13 Squadron began a long association with Canberras and moved to Malta in 1965 and remained in Malta until transferring to Wyton in 1978.

RAF Luqa in 1941.

Current use

Nowadays, the location has been developed into the main entry point of the modern, independent country of Malta, under the name Malta International Airport. It is sometimes still referred to as "Luqa Airport" or "Valletta Airport".

See also

References

External links

  • RAF Luqa Remembered


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