Aircraft facilities (ARSF and FAAM)

NERC provides comprehensive airborne research capability for the benefit of the environmental science community. There are currently two aircraft available to our scientists:

FAAM BAe-146

The FAAM BAe146 aircraft was purchased by NERC in April 2014 and is managed by NCAS on behalf of NERC and the Met Office. It carries an extensive payload of state-of-the-art instruments to measure clouds, aerosols, basic state parameters and radiation, and can carry a complement of up to 20 people. The aircraft is operated under contract by BAe Systems and Direct Flight Ltd.

These aircraft operate around the globe on major international projects, providing vital support to our science programmes.

Change to NERC aircraft management

In response to the findings of a review of NERC aircraft capability, the NERC executive created an integrated fleet of aircraft for NERC research, survey and polar logistics, combining the airborne capabilities of ARSF (Airborne Research & Survey Facility) and BAS (British Antarctic Survey).

The integrated fleet provides a worldwide capability and gives the environmental science community access to a range of aircraft platforms and instrumentation. The fleet is managed and operated by BAS. An airborne-science planning system, similar to that currently used for research ship cruises will be introduced.

The integrated fleet will comprises the five aircraft (Dash 7 and four Twin Otters) currently operated by BAS. NERC will maintain the current volume and capability through the capability offered by the BAS. This will enable NERC to reduce the number of its aircraft, and the Dornier 228 will no longer be deployed.


British Antarctic Survey
Rod Arnold
01223 221500

ARSF annual report (PDF, 251KB)