Celebrating Dunsfold Park’s Heritage
History of Dunsfold Aerodrome
Dunsfold Aerodrome was built by the First Canadian Army in just 20 weeks in 1942 as a base for the Royal Canadian Air Force flying missions to Europe. Before this the site was farmland. After the war the Aerodrome was used as a repatriation centre. Skyways, a charter airline, leased the aerodrome and played a significant part in the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49. Skyways also used the aerodrome to refurbish, test and deliver aircraft for the Portuguese Air Force. In 1950 the Hawker Aircraft Company took over Dunsfold Aerodrome as a flight test centre and as a base to support British military actions overseas until 2000, when BAE Systems ceased activity at the aerodrome.
How will we celebrate Dunsfold Park’s heritage?
Although the existing aviation and motorsports uses will cease, Dunsfold Aerodrome’s heritage will be celebrated in the plan of the village – incorporating a unique landscape treatment of the former runway and in a collection of the celebrated aircraft associated with ‘Surrey’s most secret airfield’. Looking to the future, the business park will continue to attract innovative companies engaged in green technology and advanced engineering.
Integrating heritage features into the masterplan
The masterplan is structured around the main runway, which will be transformed into a sequence of dramatic landscape features: main entrance avenue, lake, market square, museum, event space and Runway Park. The peri-track will become a recreational route. The Harrier jump- jet tethering platforms, war memorial and other listed heritage structures are retained and integrated into the village and park.
Permanent collection telling Dunsfold Park’s story
The proposed Dunsfold Park Collection could display the historic aircraft associated with the aerodrome, aligned with the runway as though in flight, as well as incorporating the more recent motoring and filming history. This dramatic building will provide space for visitors, research, education and hire for corporate or private events.
Continuing programme of aviation and motoring events
The Dunsfold Park Collection will open to a section of Runway Park called the Apron.
This could provide a space for motoring and static aviation displays and an everyday place for other wheeled activities, especially (but not only) for young people: for example, motorcycle, motoring and cycle training and competitions, skateboarding, and go-karting.
Fostering technically innovative businesses
Dunsfold Park has a distinguished record of pioneering innovation in the aeronautical industry. The business park is a centre of excellence for a growing cohort of companies engaged in advanced engineering research and development. Gordon Murray Design is a great example, and our investment in alternative energy and waste recycling is another.