Suffolk aviation group says new regulations could “price air shows out of existance”

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota at Martlesham control tower open day last year

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota at Martlesham control tower open day last year - Credit: Archant

Changes to regulations for air shows following the Shoreham disaster last year could result in the popular community events being “priced out of existence” according to a Suffolk aviation society.

Members of the Martlesham Aviation Society were among those campaigning against changes being made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), following the accident at the Shoreham Air Show in August 2015 in which 11 members of the public died. Among the changes are substantial increased costs for putting on air shows, as well as restrictions on what kind of aircraft can be used at public events.

Member of Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, Tarkey Barker, said: “Everyone I have spoken to looked absolutely astounded when you tell them what’s going on. They have increased the charges by a phenomenal amount. In some cases they [CAA] are going to be charging 10 times the costs that they were. If it is a show that’s raising money for charity, they have suddenly got to pay out an extra £10,000.

“A lot of shows have cancelled already. It’s just unfair.”

Speaking last year, executive director of the European Airshow Council Charles Skiera said that air shows were second only to football in terms of popularity as spectator events.

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“It’s a possible disaster for a very, very large community who enjoy air shows,” said Mr Barker. “If the pilots can’t display their vehicles they won’t be able to afford to keep them. We are going to lose a lot of our heritage.

“The [Shoreham] accident was a terrible tragedy, but it’s the first time since 1962 that a non-participant had been killed.

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“It’s just a shame that the CAA has jumped on the bandwagon and issued all these new regulations.

“Lots and lots of people go to these air shows and they are really upset. They are going to price it out of existence.”

The new regulations are due to come into effect on April 1.

To sign the petition, visit

For more information about the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, visit its Facebook page

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