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Leuchars airfield will remain in use as back-up for RAF Lossiemouth

Typhoons and Tornados flying in the snow at RAF Leuchars.

The future of the airfield at Leuchars is being secured long-term as an essential back up for fast jets based in Moray, the Government has confirmed.

Its proximity to RAF Lossiemouth as the only runway suitable for “diversionary” landings for Typhoon aircraft gives the airstrip “essential capability”, the Ministry of Defence said.

The Fife site is the only viable place for fighter jets to make an emergency or unplanned landing.

Leuchars was handed over to the Army by the RAF in March 2015 following years of speculation over its future.

RAF Typhoons landing and flying at RAF Lossiemouth today, Moray.

It was renamed Leuchars Station and is now home to Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

The last fast jets left the airfield in September 2014, with the multi-purpose Typhoon fighter being stationed north at RAF Lossiemouth.

Last year the planes were temporarily rehomed at Leuchars while Lossiemouth underwent a £75 million upgrade.

Leuchars Station sign in 2015.

Lib Dem North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie received the confirmation from government minister Jeremy Quinn MP.

Mr Rennie said: “This is the first time in years that we have had real confirmation from the MoD that the RAF intend to keep using the base. At the very least, as a secondary hub for Lossiemouth.

“This announcement is very welcome indeed and as long as the airfield is operational it makes sense to continue to maintain its other functions as well.

Willie Rennie MSP

“I want to thank the minister for providing these assurances and I look forward to more details about any future work that will improve the facilities.”

North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain said it is good news for local families and the communities that have grown up around the base.

Wendy Chamberlain MP

“Local Liberal Democrats have been asking for these assurances for many years and it is a relief to finally have them,” she added.

“Now I want to see a commitment from the minister that the rest of the base’s facilities, including the Army barracks, will be secured and improved for the future as well.”

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