NORTH YORKSHIRE will see increased aerial activity when a military base hosts visitors from Switzerland.

RAF Leeming will see added aircraft movement during a three-week exercise when a detachment of supersonic fighter planes from the Swiss Air Force visit the base. The exercise is scheduled to take place from this Tuesday until Friday, December 18.

The base will be hosting mostly supersonic fighter aircraft throughout this period. Some low flying for short periods may be necessary, along with some exercising at night.

The fighter pilots from Switzerland will be honing their flying skills and could be pitted against the RAF’s own top guns from Leeming and other units.

Last year a Squadron of Swiss Air Force F18 Hornet aircraft, a team of pilots and their support teams spent several weeks working at the base for Exercise Yorknite. The contingent also included the county’s only female fighter pilot.

Although night flying is not prohibited in Switzerland, the constant threat of avalanches means it is restricted hence they are invited to train with the RAF. Earlier this year RAF Leeming was the focus for one the largest RAF deployments in the 21st Century when more than 600 Royal Air Force personnel supported by eight Typhoon jet aircraft successfully passed a major NATO evaluation. Known as CAPEVAL it cemented the Royal Air Force’s ability to conduct operations in challenging conditions.

Visitors are common at the North Yorkshire air base: this year already, Typhoon Eurofighters from RAF Lossiemouth along with helicopters from the RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps spent time working at Leeming. During the early part of the COVID 19 pandemic, military helicopters were based at Leeming in support of essential NHS work.

A spokesperson for RAF Leeming said: “The Station will be hosting a detachment of Swiss aircraft. Low flying for short periods may be necessary, along with exercising at night. Please note the viewing area is closed.”