Major new safety fees for Eastbourne air show

Airbourne organisers will have to pay regulators more than £11,000 for new, stricter safety measures or face cancellation, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has warned.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 3:40 pm
Updated Monday, 7th March 2016, 3:41 pm
Airbourne 2015. Day two. SUS-150817-074350001

The warning comes as the CAA seeks to introduce both new charges for its services and tighter safety measures following an investigation into the Shoreham air disaster.

As a result of the changes Airbourne organisers will see the amount they are charged by the CAA increase from £2,518 to £11,696.

While the increased charges have proven controversial in the wider air show industry, Eastbourne Borough Council’s lead cabinet member for culture, tourism and enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister, said they are unlikely to prevent the 2016 event from going ahead.

She said, “Planning for Airbourne 2016 is already under way and we are looking forward to another excellent event this year with the Red Arrows, Typhoon, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and King Air already confirmed.

“Whilst the increase in CAA charges from £2,518 to £11,696 would have some financial bearing upon Airbourne, the impact on the overall budget is relatively minimal and we anticipate another successful event this year with a packed programme of flying.”

The stricter standards include carrying out enhanced risk assessments and tougher training requirements for pilots and display directors.

The new standards have been criticised by several figures in the air show industry who say the new standards are excessive and will leave smaller shows unable pay the higher costs.

But the CAA argues the changes are essential to ensure air shows are safer and says it will not permit the shows to take place unless the new standards are met.

Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA, said, “We understand that people care passionately about air shows and we want all events to be a success, but we are also very clear that we will not compromise on safety. Enhancing the safety of air shows is essential and events that do not comply with the safety measures we are introducing simply won’t be able to go ahead.

“We welcome the opportunity to address with air show organisers any questions or concerns they have around their planned activity for 2016, but safety must be the priority and we are committed to doing all that we can to make air shows even safer in the years to come.”

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