Hi, I’m Norm Webster, and I’m the Display Director for this year’s Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune. Over the next few weeks I’m going to try and give you a feel of what we have to do to organise an airshow, including the issues we sometimes have to surmount.
We started organising the Airshow in February this year so it was imperative that we hit the ground running! Requests were soon sent to the British military and we were very pleased to be offered the Royal Navy Sea King and helicopter.
Next we approached various civilian display pilots and we are delighted to have built a fine display which should have something for everyone, with fast jets, helicopters, biplanes, wingwalkers and vintage fighter aircraft.
Air displays don’t just happen, lots of people and organisations are involved, and all need to be kept up to date with progress – the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and local police for starters – and all need to give their consent. We started liaising with the CAA as soon as possible, in order to ensure they are happy with all aspects of the plan – it’s the CAA that ultimately issues the licence for the display!
In addition to the Airshow at East Fortune, we are also organising the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) which happens the weekend before , so things are a little hectic at the moment. RIAT is the largest military air display in Europe, and several of the participants are also coming to East Fortune, it offers us the perfect opportunity to discuss the display at East Fortune Airshow beforehand.
I’ll talk next time about choosing the display management team, completing the CAA paperwork, and the peculiarities of running the Airshow at East Fortune.
‘Wait out’ till next week (RAF speak this time, I’m afraid).