Building work began for an RAF advanced night fighter base to protect the nearby ports of Falmouth and Penzance during 1940 and RAF Predannack Down opened in 1941 as part of Portreath Sector. It later transferred to RAF Coastal Command until it went into care and maintenance on 1 Jun 1946.
During the Second World War Coastal Command squadrons flew anti-submarine sorties into the Bay of Biscay as well as convoy support in the western English Channel using aircraft such as Bristol Beaufighters and De Havilland Mosquitoes.
After a short period of experimental use by Vickers under the supervision of Barnes Wallis around 1951, the base was taken over by the Royal Navy on 15 Dec 1958.
The airfield was allocated the ICAO code EGDO but this fell out of use as it became a satellite airfield for nearby RNAS Culdrose, to handle intensive helicopter operations and as a relief landing ground. There is also a small range on the site and the RN Fire Fighting School moved here in 1971.
It is also home to RAF 626 Volunteer Gliding Squadron unit and the Royal Naval School of Fire Fighting, which holds a number of dummy aircraft for fire extinguishing practice, together with a number of retired airframes for personnel rescue practice, such as this disused Westland Wessex . Looking closely at the satellite photos, a former Hawker Hunter and English Electric Canberra can be seen parked in the southwest. The Hawker Hunter was moved to Bristol in November 2007. The runway is also used by "Goonhilly Model Flying Club" (with MOD permission) and hobby model flying has been carried out on the field since the 1950s.
Situated on the western side of the spectacular Lizard Peninsula, parts of the base away from the operational areas are within a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its combination of botanical (orchids), zoological (butterflies & snakes) and geological (bastite & serpentinite) uniqueness,