Watch: Boris Johnson's VIP plane leaves Leeds Bradford Airport

Prime minister Boris Johnson left Leeds on a special flight after a brief visit to the city today.

Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 3:01 pm
The BAE 146 jet seen preparing to leave Leeds Bradford Airport

Johnson touched down at Leeds Bradford Airport aboard an aircraft from the RAF Royal Flight this morning.

The British Aerospace 146 plane is part of the RAF's No 32 (Royal) Squadron, and is available to VIPs when not on operational flying duties.

This is what Boris Johnson said about the prison system during his visit to Armley jailThe squadron is based at RAF Northolt in London and is also used by members of the Royal Family.

The BAE 146 jet seen preparing to leave Leeds Bradford Airport

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Photographer Andrew Easby later filmed the aircraft taxiing on the runway behind a Jet2 holiday flight as it prepared to depart.

Johnson visited HMP Leeds, where he praised the prison's officers as 'unsung heroes' of the criminal justice system.

He also met Conservative members at Weetwood Hall, visited Leeds General Infirmary, and even chatted to the owner of a hair salon on Kirkstall Road.

The RAF provided dedicated transport for VIPs until 1995, when the Queen's Flight was merged with the Metropolitan Communications Squadron. In 2004 the distinctive red livery that had previously been used by royal aircraft was removed due to security risks.

No 32 Squadron personnel have seen action in the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the RAF has reiterated regularly that VIP transport is very much a secondary function of the unit.

They currently operate two BAE 146s and one AgustaWestland helicopter.