Managing the RAF’s Lossiemouth Development Programme

The Royal Air Force’s Lossiemouth base in Scotland serves a critical role in mitigating a strategic defence gap for the UK.

To achieve this, the Royal Air Force and Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) enlisted Tetra Tech to plan, procure, and execute delivery of a £400m+ programme of infrastructure works that would facilitate a new Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability and an additional Typhoon fighter squadron and the overall sustainment of RAF Lossiemouth as the RAF’s only main operating base in Scotland.


The inherent value of the Lossiemouth Development Programme (LDP) made successful delivery especially important. The introduction of P-8 Poseidon aircraft alone, for instance, would play a big role in protecting the UK’s nuclear deterrent, in addition to performing search-and-rescue and overland reconnaissance missions.

On such a strategically significant programme, complexity and big scope usually come with the territory. Delayed delivery schedules and rising costs posed very real risks, complicated by a remote and challenging working environment. And beyond logistical and technical problems, the interdependencies within the programme and UK and US capability programmes had to be accounted for as well, as did collaboration with a wide net of stakeholders.


As is our motto on large programmes, we have predicated our approach to project management on a holistic view, treating every component as a jigsaw piece that must fit into a cohesive whole.

Through our master planning we reviewed provisions like runways, taxiways, and technical accommodations servicing aircraft to ensure they complement each other and the entire base’s functionality.

Taking this panoramic view has let us confidently advice the RAF and DIO on which projects to prioritise. It has set uniform goals for our team to converge on across all our service delivery, from project management to design, cost management, and master planning.

Working specifically with RAF personnel, Tetra Tech supported a Programme Management Office (PMO) function to provide control, coherence, and assurance. With numerous stakeholders, ISO 44001 collaborative working principles have greatly influenced our approach and methods. This nurtured a productive working relationship between project teams, client and the users – and remains the bedrock of effective governance

Even with COVID-19’s challenges, our team has adapted exceedingly well to delivering under remote working conditions, helped massively by having hand-picking a high-calibre local team with the right expertise for the job.


Following successful input and collaboration, the programme is on track to deliver nine projects within cost and budget.

“This programme represents a major investment that will turn RAF Lossiemouth into a modern and high-tech main base to meet an evolving set of challenges,” said Neil Malcolm, Programme Manager for the Lossiemouth Development Programme.

”The LDP is unique in having had a permanent presence of so many high-calibre experts in one location. Every member on the team has gone above and beyond to help the client where required, and that visibility we’ve had on site has really been conducive to the programme’s success.”

The full list of completed projects will include:

  • Redevelopment of the aircraft operating surfaces
  • New single living accommodation for more than 2,000 personnel
  • Squadron operations and engineering facility for the additional Typhoon squadron
  • New fire station
  • Increased utilities and drainage across the airbase
  • New washhangar for United States Navy (USN) P-8 Poseidon aircraft
  • New single living accommodation for USN personnel on temporary duty

Services Provided

Cost Management
Programme and Project Management
Urban Design and Masterplanning

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