I thought I’d start this year’s post with a discussion on the weather and how it influences the decisions made by Display Directors. It is certainly a ‘hot topic’ this year, as I think everybody has had more than their fair share of rain recently. For display directors it generally resolves into a programming puzzle: not just what can display, but what can actually get here. For display organisers, however, there are a myriad of other things to consider – car parks, traders, arena events, disabled access, to name but a few.
It’s not long now to the Airshow at the National Museum of Flight. The gathering of the relevant paperwork is probably the most difficult part of organising an airshow but we’ve only got a few more submissions to collect. The CAA (Civilian Aviation Authority) paperwork has been completed – I thought I’d get that sorted early so I had one less thing to worry about, and the BT (British Telecom) organisation has been extremely helpful about radio frequencies and licences to ensure efficient communication on the day.
We used to have a saying in the RAF, ‘He who plans early, plans twice’. This was a statement born out of the fact that as so many things change in the run up to any event, it is always less effort to leave the detailed planning as late as possible so that you have already captured the unforeseen changes. Well… I planned early! With other displays to organise between May and July I thought I’d sort out the display plan, hotel bookings and the Edinburgh Airport movements before I had to get involved in other things – with four weeks to go, I was totally prepared for the East Fortune airshow. Today – it’s all been changed but not to worry, it is still an exciting line-up. I start again on the plan tomorrow.
We have actually been very lucky this year with our military participants. To secure the Red Arrows, Hawk, Tucano and King Air from the RAF was a spectacular success, whilst the Royal Navy will provide a SAR Sea King. These items alone fill a large part of the display, and make my job as director far easier than it otherwise would have been. I’ll write again next week, by which time I should have a new plan put together, and have my team briefings set, if not in stone, then in quite stiff rice pudding.
Please note all information is correct at the time of publishing. Flights and timings are subject to change, prevailing weather conditions and operational requirements.