Pembrey is a small airport situated inside the Royal Air Force danger area D118 known as Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range. Pembrey is open seven days a week but only licensed at weekends unless a prior booking is made, due to an LOA with the MoD to operate civil and commercial flights during operational hours as long as any visiting aircraft obtain the required PPR from the RAF.
Opened in 1941 it was host to Fighter Command and played an important role in the Battle of Britain. It was then used as past of the RAF’s Air Gunnery School.
One noteworthy wartime incident was the story of Oberleutnant Armin Faber, Adjutant of III fighter Gruppe of JG2 who, on 23 June 1942 had been engaged by Spitfires of 19 Squadron and the Czech Wing over south Devon, England. Being forced north beyond Exeter, Faber mistook the Bristol Channel for the English Channel. Being short on fuel, he landed at Pembrey believing it to be a Luftwaffe airfield in Brittany, France. The Pembrey Duty Pilot grabbed a Very pistol and ran from the control tower and jumped onto the wing of Faber's aircraft as it taxied in. Faber was taken to RAF Fairwood Common by Group Captain David Atcherley for interrogation. He became a POW in Canada and was repatriated to Germany in exchange for wounded allied POW's. It is thought that he then fought on the eastern front.
Ironically, Faber was piloting the latest enemy fighter, the Focke-Wulf 190A-3, a type the RAF had only ever seen flying over France. The depths of Faber's despair at providing his enemy with an intact FW190 can be gauged by the fact that he subsequently attempted to commit suicide.
As news broke of his landing in Pembrey, Fighter Command despatched pilots to photograph and return the aircraft to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. The RAF finally had an FW 190 to compare with its V.S Spitfire IX and Hawker Typhoon Ia aircraft.
Post 1958 part of former RAF Pembrey airfield was turned over to agriculture, part was used as a motor racing circuit leaving only a small length of unused runway and taxiways. On Thursday 22 August 1997 Pembrey was officially opened as a civil airfield and named Pembrey Airport using a single runway (04/22) with a declared length of 805 metres.
PPR by phone weekdays only, as the airfield is next door to the Pembrey ranges. All visiting aircraft must phone 24 hours for a landing slot. Non radio aircraft not accepted. Weekends are no problem. Nice local beaches are nearby, meals served daily and the Sunday lunch is highly recommended in the airport restaurant (booking advisable). Nearby hotels are available. AVGAS and JET A1 available. Pembrey range radio is 122.750 and Pembrey A/G 124.400.