CAR SHOWS FACE AXE IN WAKE OF SUS­SEX AIR CRASH

Tighter CAA rules and higher fees spell end of fly­ing dis­plays at Bri­tish clas­sic car events

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

Atight­en­ing-up of air­show reg­u­la­tions fol­low­ing last year's Shore­ham disas­ter could have ma­jor reper­cus­sions for clas­sic car events that in­clude aerial dis­plays or fly­pasts as part of their pro­gramme.

The Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (CAA) has an­nounced en­hanced safety mea­sures for all UK civil air shows fol­low­ing the death of 11 peo­ple when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on the A27 in West Sus­sex in Au­gust. Among the steps in­tro­duced by the CAA are in­creased dis­play charges that could price in­clu­sion of an air at­trac­tion out of the reach of many clas­sic car events.

As a re­sult, one show that fea­tures cars and air­craft is fac­ing a more than four­fold in­crease in charges. All clas­sic events with an aerial el­e­ment are un­der re­view, and many could be can­celled al­to­gether.

Tougher new air­show reg­u­la­tions could have ma­jor reper­cus­sions for Bri­tish clas­sic car events that in­cor­po­rate his­toric fly­pasts or aerial dis­play el­e­ments.

This is one of the im­pli­ca­tions in the wake of the Shore­ham Air Show disas­ter in Au­gust last year, in which 11 peo­ple were killed when a Hawker Hunter jet tak­ing part in the event crashed on the A27.

As a re­sult of this,the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (CAA) has en­hanced safety mea­sures for all UK civil air shows. Among the steps in­tro­duced are in­creased dis­play charges, en­hanced risk as­sess­ments, tougher checks and train­ing re­quire­ments for pi­lots and dis­play di­rec­tors.

This could price an air el­e­ment – al­ways a good crowd puller – out of the reach of many clas­sic car events. A typ­i­cal air­show which, last year, found it­self pay­ing £2695 in fees to the CAA could see that bill rise to over £20,000 in some cases.

Al­ready many smaller shows, some of which had clas­sic car dis­plays as part of their make-up, have been halted; some ex­perts be­lieve up to half of the 300 shows with car and air­craft in­put around the coun­try each year, might not go ahead.

The bi­en­nial Sy­well Air Show in Northamp­ton­shire is one such ca­su­alty. It was can­celled cit­ing the ‘like­li­hood of much higher CAA fees’ as one of the rea­sons. More than 50 clas­sic cars and 30 vet­eran mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles were due to ap­pear. How­ever, the very pop­u­lar Pis­tons and Props event will go ahead as planned us­ing the same venue in Septem­ber, or­gan­iser Live Pro­mo­tions has con­firmed.

July’s Flywheel Fes­ti­val at Bices­ter Her­itage is tak­ing place, too, al­though those be­hind the event say they are look­ing closely at the rules to make sure they are fully com­pli­ant. At the time of go­ing to press, there was no change to Good­wood Re­vival’s plans for its 9-11 Septem­ber event.

The Lit­tle Grans­den Air and Car Show in Cam­bridgeshire is fac­ing a hike in in its CAA pay­ment from £1497 last year to £6994. One of its or­gan­is­ers, Dave Poile MBE, says that the gath­er­ing, which saw 500 ve­hi­cles last year, is go­ing ahead but warns it might be un­able to give as much money to char­ity this year due to the CAA’s new charges. £60,558 was raised for Chil­dren in Need in 2015, with in ex­cess of £300,000 in char­ity do­na­tions over­all since 1992.

‘More than 10% of the money given to good causes could now end up with the CAA in­stead,’ says Poile. The show is back­ing a pe­ti­tion ask­ing the CAA to re­think its charges and also plans to slightly in­crease ticket prices to counter costs.

www.pe­ti­tion.par­lia­ment.uk/ pe­ti­tions/120628

Tougher safety mea­sures could see the end of his­toric air­craft in­put – in­clud­ing fly­ing dis­plays – at clas­sic car events.

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