Bosses at BAE Systems have denied rumours they are looking to trial jet aircraft from the recently revamped Walney airfield.

BAE Systems, the Ministry of Defence, contractors and the Royal Navy use the airfield to travel between Barrow’s huge shipyard and other parts of the UK.

In 2018 almost 3,500 flights transported around 14,000 personnel involved in the submarine programmes.

BAE Systems already operates turboprop planes from the airfield. Turboprop plane engines are powered using propellers. While they are typically louder, they are considered safer than jets when going into smaller runways at airfields like Walney.

Jets have turbine engines encased with fan blades.

Rumours had recently begun to surface of plans to conduct test flights with jet aircraft at the airfield, while is also used by members of the Lakes Gliding Club, according to in-Cumbria sister title The Mail.

However, they have been denied by BAE Systems, with a spokesman saying: “I can confirm there are no plans to test any jet aircraft at Walney.”

In September a £7.2m upgrade of the airfield was unveiled which included a new control tower and hangar, new crew facilities, garaging for emergency vehicles and a new passenger lounge.

BAE Systems said the improvements mean infrastructure that had, in some cases, been little altered since the Second World War, is now comparable to any modern airfield. 

The new equipment is said to be compatible with the latest avionics systems and construction of a new hanger ensures aircraft can be stored and maintained to ensure a high degree of readiness.