AddThis SmartLayers

Weekly launches petition to save county’s air show


A weekly newspaper has launched a petition calling for the RAF to find an alternative venue after it scrapped a major air show.

The Lincolnshire Echo started the petition after the RAF announced it was axing the Waddington International Air Show permanently.

The air show has been running for 20 years and attracts more than 100,000 visitors over the two-day event each year.

But the air force announced the end of the show due to increased security concerns and operational risks at Waddington, which is at the forefront of the country’s air defence.

The newspaper is calling for the RAF to do all it can to find a new home for the air show in Lincolnshire.

Editor Charles Walker said: “Lincolnshire and the RAF have a very special connection. Much of the UK’s air defence is based here.

“We have a very strong connection and the Waddington Air Show is a demonstration of that special relationship.

“People in Lincolnshire are very proud of the air show. The demise of Waddington is a great disappointment to the county and the people in the county.”

He added the paper wanted to demonstrate the level of support from people for an air show at an alternative venue in Lincolnshire, such as the Scampton or Coningsby bases.

The Echo has highlighted the “huge boost” to the local economy that the air show brings, along with its marketing value to visitors and investors.

Nearly 500 people signed the petition within a day of it being launched.

In a statement, the RAF said: “An extensive survey of alternative sites in the East of England has been carried out and the RAF has decided that it would be possible to hold an air show at RAF Scampton.

“However, further work is needed to address significant legal, commercial and infrastructure issues.

“The RAF is making every effort to resolve these issues, but it is regretted that this work will mean that it will not be possible to hold an air show at RAF Scampton until 2017 at the earliest.

“The RAF appreciates that the cancellation of the air show at RAF Waddington will be a disappointment to many; however, it is hoped that the intent to establish an alternative air show at RAF Scampton is evidence of the RAF’s commitment to maintain its traditional and modern links to ‘Bomber County’.”