The Airfield Research Group was established in 1977 to document, research, and to report information and material related to the history, architecture, current status and use of military and civilian airfields throughout the UK and Europe. The group produced a quarterly newsletter which in the early 1980s became Airfield Review. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the group compiled reports for the English Heritage thematic military airfield listing and Monument Protection Programme which has led to many listings and designations of ancient monuments. ARG was also heavily involved with the Defence of Britain project, producing a report on the defence of airfields. Since then and more recently members of ARG have compiled extensive archaeological and historical reports on former RAF stations at Alconbury, Bentley Priory, Coltishall, Howden, Oakington, Tangmere and Uxbridge to name a few.
The Airfield Information Exchange (AiX) was created in April 2008 by Noel Ryan, Richard Flagg and Chris Percy. The three airfield researchers and photographers had for some time been looking for a way to centralise the contacts they had each built up over the preceding years as a vehicle for sharing information amongst fellow researchers.
The most obvious way of doing this was to create an internet based discussion forum and the initial framework of this was created by Noel in early April 2008 which led to the formation of the Airfield Information Exchange (AiX).
Later that year the forum moved platforms to a more stable subscription system from the early free hosted version resulting in far superior performance. The forum is a vehicle for publishing our own research free to all, as well as a discussion forum on all aspects of 20th century military history and civil airfields. At the end of 2013 membership passed the 7000 mark.
Since 1977, members of ARG have been photographing and collecting material on airfields and other 20th century military sites in the UK and elsewhere. This material has now formed the basis for an archive which in 2011 moved to Alconbury Airfield. Since then it has grown considerably and we are rapidly outgrowing the two rooms that we have. A company was formed to manage this (AiX-ARG Archive Limited), but recently this has been dissolved and a new company created Airfield Research Group Ltd which will manage all of ARG’s assets.
In-house projects include publishing a series of reports on the First World War on AiX, the digitization of airfield and building plans, publishing books, the cataloguing of our assets and producing our own airfield monument lists.