Air shows must adopt new safety measures, says CAA

Emergency services at the crash site Image copyright PA
Image caption Eleven people died after a vintage jet crashed on to the A27 during the Shoreham Airshow in 2015

Air shows must adopt new safety measures or face cancellation, the Civil Aviation Authority has said.

The UK's aviation regulator said some show organisers had opposed the changes introduced after the Shoreham air disaster that killed 11 people in 2015.

New measures include enhanced risk assessments and tougher checks and training requirements for pilots and display directors.

The CAA said "a number of air shows" would not happen unless they complied.

Chief executive Andrew Haines said the CAA, which carried out "an extensive review of air show safety" after the Shoreham air crash, would "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," he said.

Cancellation fear

The CAA says charges will be increased for air show organisers to fund the new safety measures, due to come into force from 1 April.

Larger shows with 31 or more displays face a possible increase from £2,695 to more than £20,000, including a new flying display post-event charge of up to £15,000.

Samantha Jones, organiser of the Throckmorton Air Show and member of the Keep Airshows Airborne group, said her air show would have to be cancelled if the regulations and charges went ahead.

Ms Jones told the BBC: "We simply haven't budgeted the extra money the CAA are asking us to pay.

"We completely appreciate the CAA are there for safety and safety is everybody's priority... we need to comply with the regulations, but the fact is that these charges were dropped on our toes only four weeks ago."

Image copyright South Coast Press Agency
Image caption The AAIB is investigating the Shoreham crash and will make recommendations

The new regulations "significantly influenced" the decision to cancel the Llandudno Air Show, its organisers have said.

This year's Manchester Airshow has also been cancelled, with organisers blaming the timing of the CAA review, but they said the charges were "not a factor" in their decision.

A vintage Hawker Hunter jet that had been performing aerobatics crashed on to the A27 on 22 August last year, during the annual Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report published in December found the jet had expired ejector seat parts and an out-of-date technical manual. The AAIB is yet to make its final report.

The CAA's air display review work is continuing and a final report is expected to be published "in the coming weeks".

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