Use of disused airfields

I imagine most of us have seen TV shows and movies where people will race their cars around airfields, do drag races down the runway, etc.

My question is, has anybody ever done this is real life? There is a disused airfield not far from where I live and I was thinking of going down there with a few friends and racing. Google searches are turning up very little information, so if anyone is able to share personal experiences or maybe shed some light on whether this is even legal, please do!

Probably not legal but since this an aviation community, we wouldn’t know much about it.


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depends where in the world you are and who owns the airfield. If you are talking about the likes of Top Gear then their airfield that they use is very much an active field which is closed off for filming.

Also in Surrey (where Top gear is filmed) is Brookwood Airfield, which is closed however you drive along the runways as part of Mercedes Benz World.

Santa Pod Raceway is also in the UK which you can race along. All of those you cant just turn up but need to book for and prob pay to use!

Staying in the UK in the New Forrest several old airfields have been turned into camping sites, they are great fun to stay at and you can easily find the old runways and taxi ways etc!

I think in terms of top gear they own it or have contact with the owner.

Like going on any type of private land, you need to have permission to do so from the owner otherwise you are trespassing.

Also depends on what country. In Scotland for instance you can trespass legally but in America you can’t.

Where I live on LI, there’s an airport (Calverton Airport) about 15-20 minutes to my east. It’s no longer in use, it was a significant production place for Grumman to build their fighter jets, etc. in WWII.

Now, there’s shopping centers and business parks which have been developed on the property. But the runways and taxiways are still there, and there’s a road which bisects them. Some people like to take their cars onto the runways, do burnouts, donuts, etc.

In Scotland there is a “right to roam”. It would not cover racing cars on an abandoned airfield.

Yes but you can trespass. I didn’t say you could race there.

It’s not relevant to the question from the OP.

I’ve been to the old Stapleton tower but the airport itself was long ago destroyed. Still interesting to visit the tower :D

There’s an airport in Ohio (was KISZ) that had been closed and turned into a park. I’m sure you could get a car in there if the park allowed it.

I know the Gimli Glider landed at an airport that had been turned into a drag racing strip. You can always go to Gimli Manitoba and race there.

You definitely can’t just go there and be like „Oh, I thought since no one uses it anymore, I can turn it into a race strip.“

Try to contact the local municipal authority. I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to tell you if it’s allowed to enter the area.

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