Airport group’s fears over Red Arrows visits

The RAF Red Arrows perform high above Blackpool to launch the new Skyforce ride at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The RAF Red Arrows perform high above Blackpool to launch the new Skyforce ride at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach
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Fears have been raised that the famous Red Arrows may never land at Blackpool Airport again due to lack of safety cover.

Members of the campaign group Save Blackpool Airport have said they have been in contact with one of the air display team’s liaison officers confirming the decision.

In the past when the team has been performing at Blackpool Air Show they have landed at Squires Gate and parked the aircraft in a holding area close to the Morrisons supermarket.

But now they will have to fly in from their base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and then return straight after the display.

The move will disappoint their scores of fans who often watch over the airport fences off on the sand dunes to see the spectacular jets land and take off.

The email from the liaison officer states: “At present the situation is that Blackpool Airport is no longer on the Reds’ calendar which is not only a disappointment for the faithful followers at Morrisons but is also more difficult for the team operationally as Blackpool is a good location to use for other displays.

“A small team of us are working on trying to get a sufficient level of cover, particularly fire cover which currently falls well short of contract requirements.”

Rob Blower, chairman of the Save Blackpool Airport group, said it was very disappointing and another blow for the airside operation at Squires Gate since losing commercial flights last October.

He said: “It is a real shame. We believe it is down to lack of suitable fire cover, although the Airport has just bought a new fire tender.

“It is a shame for the community and a shame for the airport which has such a rich aviation heritage and such good links with the Red Arrows over the years.”

No one was available to comment from airport owners Balfour Beatty.