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Balado Bridge (Kinross)

Major

Did you know?

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From 1997 to 2014 the T in the Park music festival was held at Balado Bridge and was said to generate the sum of around £23 million for the neighbouring town of Kinross and the surrounding area in just three days.

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Also known as: Balado / Balado Park / RAF Balado Bridge / T in the Park
County: Perth and Kinross
Current Status: Aviation / Farmland / Industry / Leisure activity
Date: 20 March 1942 - 1957; subsequent limited use to present
Current Use: Limited flying
Used By: RAF / Civil
Landing Surface Types: Paved
Aircraft Roles: General aviation / Trainer

Best remembered in more recent years for housing a major pop music event, Balado Bridge acted as satellite to Grangemouth from its opening for Supermarine Spitfires of No 58 Operational Training Unit. The airfield remained busy in this advanced instruction capacity until the now renamed No 2 Tactical Exercise Unit disbanded in June 1944, after which the War Department took over control in November of that year following brief use as a Relief Landing Ground by No 9 (P) AFU at Errol.

This was not the end of flying here by any means as the Scottish Gliding Union found Balado a good enough site for its civilian gliders from 1946 until moving to Portmoak. Various other types of aviation activity occurred too, ranging from the Loch Leven Aero and Gliding Club to scrapping of Fleet Air Arm aircraft by a civilian firm, but all major flying had to stop in 1957 as the airfield became earmarked for military communications duties. Further technological advances in this field of operation saw a highly distinctive 'golf ball' structure emerge in 1985, this facility remaining in use until being decommissioned during 2006.

Balado Bridge became familiar to the general public as home to extremely popular music festival T in the Park, which drew huge crowds here between 1997 and 2014. The airfield's use in this role had to suddenly end due to concerns about an underground pipeline but the airfield continues to be busy in other industrial and recreational ways, while flying is still evident in the form of microlight training. A good deal of infrastructure remains as well, ranging from both runways to the control tower and an unusual hangarage combination of a B1 and a Super Robin.

 

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/07/2013):

  • Kinross Community Council
  • Loch Leven Community Library
  • Milnathort Community Council

Notable Past Associated Organisations:

  • Perth and District Motor Club
  • Scottish Traction Engine Society

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 2 Combat Training Wing

  • No 2 TEU

  • No 9 (P) AFU

  • No 58 OTU

  • Loch Leven Aero and Country Club
  • Micro Flight Academy
  • Pegasus Flight Training
  • T McDonald & Sons

1SC_624642.jpg

Aerial view showing the SATCOM III satellite tracking station and part of the airfield, taken from the east-south-east, 12 August 1996. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view looking across the airfield, taken from the west, 10 May 2005. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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The NATO satellite ground station at Balado Bridge, 31 January 2006.

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Aerial view of the airfield, taken from the south-south-east, 14 August 2006. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view centred on the airfield, taken during T in the Park from the west, 5 July 2007 © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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A B1 hangar at Balado Bridge, 29 May 2008.

7Mixed design satellite station watch office (29:05:2008).JPG

The mixed design satellite station watch office at Balado Bridge, 29 May 2008.

8View across the airfield from the east side (29:05:2008).JPG

View across the airfield from the east side, 29 May 2008.

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Aerial view of Toll House Poultry Farm and the preparations for T-in-the-Park at Balado Bridge, taken from the west-south-west, 24 June 2011. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view of the T in the Park site at Balado Bridge, looking west, 25 July 2012. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view centred on the T in the Park festival at Balado Bridge, looking north-north-west, 14 July 2013. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view of Balado Bridge showing T in the Park, looking north-north-east, 1 July 2014. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view of T in the Park at Balado Bridge, looking south-east, 11 July 2014. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

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Aerial view centred on Balado Bridge, looking north-north-west, 16 September 2015. © Crown Copyright: HES. Licensor canmore.org.uk

Parent(s)/HQ Airfields(s):

ErrolGrangemouth

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