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Red Arrows Participation Change – Your Questions Answered

PUBLISHED: 17:30 20 June 2016

RAF Red Arrows display team in flight

RAF Red Arrows display team in flight


It has been confirmed that the RAF Red Arrows will still be flying at Farnborough International Airshow this year and will continue to engage with the young people who attend during the weekend.

In light of the accident at Shoreham last year the nature of their display will change. The RAF has conducted an assessment of the risk associated with flying their display at Farnborough. Due to the high speed and dynamic nature of the Red Arrows aerobatic routine, the RAF has decided that, sadly, it will not be possible for them to perform their traditional display at Farnborough this year.

With a rich history of pioneering firsts, Farnborough International Airshow is a showcase for the aviation industry and the Red Arrows will be part of an exciting show that will be packed full of entertainment and aircraft (in the sky and on the ground) to inform, inspire and ignite the passions of the next generation of pilots and engineers.

Q & As

1. Why are the Reds pulling out?

The RAF Red Arrows are flying at Farnborough and have not pulled out but the nature of their display has changed. Following the accident at Shoreham last year, the RAF have performed a safety review and, due to the high speed nature of their display, have taken the decision to not perform their full display.

2. Why have you only just announced this?

The decision by the RAF to not perform their full display was not taken lightly and the full safety review was in-depth and only finalised very recently.

3. Can we get a refund?

Our normal ticket rules apply so we are not able to offer refunds. There are always uncertainties about exactly what aircraft and displays will be available on the day and they are addressed in our standard terms and conditions.

4. Who else is pulling out?

The Red Arrows have not pulled out and are continuing to fly at Farnborough. As well as the Red Arrows, we have a spectacular show of acts and aircraft chosen because they can perform amazing displays within the new CAA regulations.

5. If it is no longer safe for the Reds, was it actually safe before?

The accident at Shoreham has been a game changer for all airshows in the UK and the CAA has responded with even tighter regulations to ensure public safety. The accident has meant The Red Arrows have also had to review their own risk assessment, and in this case, the decision has been made not to perform their full display.

6. If Farnborough is not safe for the UKs leading display team, why is it considered safe for others to display?

Safety governs every aspect of the Farnborough International Airshow. It is the exemplar of air display safety, setting the bench mark for all other UK Airshows and indeed the world. Since the tragic accident at Shoreham last year, Farnborough has worked closely with CAA to fully adopt all the required changes from the CAA review of UK display regulations.

In addition, Farnborough has long imposed its own set of unique regulations, which go above and beyond those of the CAA. These include mandatory validation for all the participating pilots and aircraft before they can display to the public and the ‘Farnborough Bowl’ rule, which requires that pilots are only permitted to fly to their minimum display heights while within the airfield boundary which restricts aircraft manoeuvres. Finally, all flights are also monitored by an electro-optical tracking system; a unique safety procedure that flags if any pilot’s display deviates from that approved in validation.

7. Why have you used them in your marketing campaign?

We enjoy a close working relationship with the RAF Red Arrows and as well as flying at Farnborough they will be a core part of the interactive activities on the ground, with the public being able to meet them and see their aircraft up close.

8 Can we still meet them?

Yes, most definitely, The RAF Red Arrows will still very much be present at FIA and will also participate in Futures Day. They will still participate in flypasts and accompany some special guests in the air as part of a packed, 5-hour flying display programme. They will also be on the ground taking part in various activities and meet and greet sessions.

9 Can they still do the heart like you have in all your advertising?

Sadly not at Farnborough.

10 Is this the end of Farnborough if Britain’s best won’t fly?

No not at all. The trade show remains stronger than ever with over 100,000 trade visits while the public days will continue to inspire and entertain over 80,000 people over the weekend with its 5 hour flying display and interactive exhibits and attractions such as the innovation zone or the UK Drone Show.

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