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U.K. Government May Sell London Northolt Air Base to Cut Costs

The U.K. government is considering “all options” for Northolt Royal Air Force base in northwest London, including its sale, the Ministry of Defense said.

The future of Northolt is being considered as part of continuing scrutiny of defense expenditure, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today, after the Guardian newspaper reported that the airfield may be sold and used as a satellite airport for BAA Ltd.’s Heathrow.

“We continue to scrutinize all defense expenditure to secure the best value for money. RAF Northolt is no exception,” the ministry said. “It already generates revenue through landing fees from private flights and sources of income generation are of course kept under review.”

Parts of the site may be sold for commercial development, including possibly using it to increase capacity at Heathrow after the government blocked the airport’s plans to build a third runway, the Guardian said, citing unidentified officials.

Northolt, which was used as a base during the Battle of Britain, was the site of the return of the body of Princess Dianato the U.K. after her death in a car crash Paris in 1997.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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