Moi Air Base

Moi Air Base, formerly known as RAF Eastleigh and Eastleigh Airport (ICAO: HKRE) is a military airport located to the east of Nairobi, in the Eastleigh suburb. The airport is used by the Kenya Air Force. Additionally, the airfield is the home of the East African School of Aviation run by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, which was established at the airport in 1954 as the DCA training school. The airport is also used to train Kenyan Air Cadets.

Moi Air Base
RAF Eastleigh
Air Force Ensign of Kenya.svg
Eastleigh, Nairobi in Kenya
Moi Air Base is located in Kenya
Moi Air Base
Moi Air Base
Shown within Kenya
Coordinates1°16′37.9″S 036°51′44.3″E / 1.277194°S 36.862306°E / -1.277194; 36.862306Coordinates: 1°16′37.9″S 036°51′44.3″E / 1.277194°S 36.862306°E / -1.277194; 36.862306
TypeAir Base
Site information
OwnerKenya Defence Forces
OperatorKenya Air Force
Site history
Built1936 (1936)
In use1936-present
Airfield information
IdentifiersICAO: HKRE
Elevation1,632 metres (5,354 ft) AMSL
Runways
Direction Length and surface
06/24 2,380 metres (7,808 ft) Asphalt

Due to its military status, the airport is not shown in any official map of Nairobi. Instead, the area is left blank. This does not affect Google Earth, though.

HistoryEdit

RAF Eastleigh was a Royal Air Force airfield in Kenya, in the Eastleigh suburb of Nairobi. The name "RAF Eastleigh" was also used during 1935 for the airfield in England that became RAF Southampton in 1936.

Eastleigh was the primary RAF station for East Africa, and home to Air Headquarters East Africa after force reductions in the 1950s. However, because of its high elevation and short runways (which could not be extended because of its location close to the city), from the arrival of No. 208 Squadron RAF in the late 1950s with its Hawker Hunters, jet fighters and bombers had to operate out of nearby Embakasi Airport.

From 1945 to 1958, Eastleigh also operated as Nairobi's main international civilian airport. Airlines such as BOAC and EAA operated flights until the opening of Embakasi Airport (now Jomo Kenyatta International) nearby in 1958. Beforehand, the suitability of Eastleigh to post-War commercial airliners became a burning question; it retained a dual military-civilian role while a site was sought for a more modern, bigger civil airport. Funding the new airport became a major hurdle.[1]

During World War 2,it was the location for No. 1414 (Meteorological) Flight RAF equipped with Gloster Gladiator, Boulton Paul Defiant, Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, Percival Proctor and No. 1569 (Meteorological) Flight RAF equipped with Hurricanes. After the war No. 21 Squadron RAF, No. 30 Squadron RAF, No. 82 Squadron RAF (perhaps between 1947 and 1952, carrying out aerial surveying) and a Communications Flight operated from the base.

The Kenya Air Force was formed in 1964, after Kenyan independence. After the coup attempt by a group of KAF officers on 1 August 1982, the Kenya Air Force was disbanded and placed under the control of the Kenyan Army. During this period, KAF Eastleigh was renamed "Moi Air Base".

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