Julian Bray writes: Some of the spectacular aerobatic displays traditionally associated with the RAF Red Arrow jet display team are an early casualty of the strict new Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) air display rules being imposed on all air shows in the UK, and as a result the complex aerobatics will be missing from the Farnborough Air Show trade and public days this year.
Their participation is being reduced to a flypast and coloured smoke trails, similar to that just seen at the HMQ 90th Birthday celebrations.
Ironically, the success of Farnborough over the years has been the reason for the decision to pare down the display to a high level flypast. In a statement released by the RAF : "....is no longer appropriate due to the large amounts of local housing, business areas and major transport links underneath the planned display area."
Strict new CAA safety regulations were introduced earlier this year and now apply to all air shows within the UK, following the air accident investigation into the 2015 Shoreham Air Show tragedy.
Some smaller air shows, up and down the country have called it a day and sadly will not be revived.
The new CAA regulations include stricter checks on pilots, plus paper/ data based compliance audit trails, better [compulsory] training for organisers and a sharp increase in CAA inspection fees. In some cases they will go from £2,695 to over £20,000.
Over half of the air shows scheduled to take place in Britain this year may be cancelled, in most cases permanently some outlets are claiming, after strict new rules introduced in the wake of the Shoreham disaster begin to bite.
In addition to greatly increased fees and CAA inspectors physically on the ground, insurance premiums have also risen and traditional 'close to the aerial display action flight lines' have been pushed well back from public areas.
The new rules prohibit performing complex aerobatics over populated areas, major road and rail links. essentially in order to perform these complex displays, often the pre formation stage of the exercise will have in the past been over areas/ airspace now strictly prohibited by the new CAA rules.
Indeed some vintage jets have been grounded and will not be used for complex air show aerobatics but in essence those still flying essentially reduced to flypasts. Organisers generally are at pains to point out, the flying display programme is just a part of the overall attraction, as ground static displays and other attractions are highly popular with families.
"The Red Arrows will be flying at the Farnborough International Air Show and engaging with both adults and young people on all three days that are open to the general public.
"However, the high speed and dynamic nature of the traditional Red Arrows' display is no longer appropriate due to the large amounts of local housing, business areas and major transport links underneath the planned display area.
"In addition to the Red Arrows flypast with the new F35 Lightning II aircraft on 11 July, further Red Arrows flypasts in different formations are now planned for 15, 16 and 17 July.
"These additional flypasts, together with more exciting opportunities for the public to engage with the Red Arrows team on the ground, and other RAF air and ground displays, will ensure the Farnborough Air Show remains a truly exciting, inspirational and entertaining family event."
CAA Rules: http://julianbrayrecessionbuster07944217476.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=CAA+rules,+shoreham
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