Lydd Airport is located about 1.4 miles northeast of the town of Lydd on Romney Marsh. Originally named Lydd Ferryfield, it is now also known as London Ashford Airport, although it is over 73 miles from central London, and the name officially refers only to its operator. The airport is operated by London Ashford Airport Ltd, a company ultimately controlled by a Saudi Arabian businessman. Lydd Airport has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P858) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (London Ashford Airport Limited).
The airport is currently able to handle aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737 or Airbus A319, but the runway length means that such aircraft can only take off with a restricted payload. Lydd Air is based at the airport, offering regular flights to Le Touquet Airport in northern France, using Piper PA-31 and similar sized aircraft.
In 2000 the current owners, London Ashford Airport Ltd, a subsidiary of FAL Holdings, applied for planning permission to extend the runway by 249m with a 150m starter extension and a new passenger terminal. Shepway District Council had originally voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plans in March 2010 but, the decision was called in for Public Inquiry which ran from February to September 2011. These were finally given the go-ahead by the Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities and Local Government on 10th April 2013 following a 7 year planning process.
In 2017 negotiations were still taking place between the airport’s legal team and land owners to buy an area of farmland next to the airport, which include agreeing a compensation and purchase package.
The proposed developments aim to modernise the airport so it is capable of handling passenger flights by aircraft up to the size of Boeing 737 or Airbus 319 – but no larger. At the moment, the runway is long enough to operate these types of aircraft, but not for carrying fare-paying passengers – only for private use or maintenance.
Lydd Air operates from Lydd Airport, just north of Lydd. They provide regular services to France, leisure flights, flying with a fighter and charter flights.
Fly to Le Touquet - be there in just 15 minutes. On the northern coast of France, Le Touquet is ideally located between the sea and the forest offering its visitors beautiful walks and a great deal of activities. Scheduled flights to Le Touquet operate at weekends, normally departing from Lydd airport at 9.30am and arriving at Le Touquet at 10.50am. Return flights to Lydd arrive at 4.30pm.
You have a choice of either The Romney Marsh tour, a 15 minute flight taking in Camber Sands, Rye Harbour, Appledore and the Romney Marsh, or The White Cliffs Tour, operating over the sea and giving an opportunity to view this historic and magical coastline. The flight time is approximately 25 minutes.
Lydd Air's Piper Chieftain
Lydd Search and Rescue Helicopter Base
The last purpose-built HM Coastguard helicopter base at Lydd, Kent, was opened on 12 July 2018, marking a major milestone in the UK’s national search and rescue helicopter service. This service sees state-of-the-art facilities and helicopters, equipped with the latest search and rescue technology including night vision, mission management and increased onboard medical capabilities, enabling crews to deliver a first-class helicopter service to the UK.
Lydd is one of 10 bases strategically located around the country in close proximity to areas where search and rescue incident rates are high. Bristow Helicopters Ltd operates the search and rescue helicopter service for the UK on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.
They have two AgustaWestland AW189 helicopters stationed at Lydd and serve the south and south-east coast of England, as well as the English Channel when called upon.
Search and Rescue Helicopter from Lydd
Flying with a Fighter
Fly in a nine seater aircraft along with a Spitfire or a Hurricane - or why not both of them? The large panoramic windows give the passengers a totally unique vision ahead and below with great photographic opportunities of the fighters. Flying over the Battle of Britain Memorial and the White cliffs of Dover in the airspace where the Battle of Britain was fought, you will be brought back to the summer of 1940.
Charter your own aircraft for business or pleasure.
For further information about Lydd Airport, please visit our History of Lydd Airport page.
For information about flights, please visit the Lydd Air website or 01797 322207.
One of Lydd Air's Charter Aircraft