RAF Northolt (IATA: NHT, ICAO: EGWU) is a Royal Air Force station in South Ruislip, 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) from Uxbridge in the LondonBorough of Hillingdon, west London. Approximately 6 mi (10 km) north of London Heathrow Airport, the station also handles a large number of private civil flights.Northolt has one runway in operation, spanning 1,687 m × 46 m (5,535 ft × 151 ft), with a grooved asphalt surface.
Northolt pre-dates the establishment of the Royal Air Force by almost three years, having opened in May 1915. Originally established for the Royal Flying Corps, it has the longest history of continuous use of any RAF airfield. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, the station was the first to take delivery of the Hawker Hurricane. The station played a key role during the Battle of Britain, when fighters from several of its units, including No.303Polish Fighter Squadron, engaged enemy aircraft as part of the defence of London. It became the first base to have squadrons operating Supermarine Spitfire aircraft within German airspace.
During the construction of Heathrow Airport, Northolt was used for commercial civil flights, becoming the busiest airport in Europe for a time and a major base for British European Airways. More recently the station has become the hub of British military flying operations in the London area. Northolt has been extensively redeveloped since 2006 to accommodate these changes, becoming home to the British Forces Post Office, which moved to a newly constructed headquarters and sorting office on the site. Units currently based at RAF Northolt are No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the Queen’s Colour Squadron, 600 (City of London) Squadron, No 1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit, the Air Historical Branch and the Central Band of the RAF. The station has also been used as a filming location for productions made at Pinewood Studios.