Public display weekend scrapped at Farnborough airshow

Farnborough International Airshow has scrapped its public display weekend amid “dwindling audiences” and negative feedback.

Organisers said the impact of the Shoreham air crash contributed to the decision.

Some 80,000 spectators attended the 2018 event during the public weekend, which has previously taken place at the end of the seven-day trade show.

The biennial airshow will last just five days from next year.

It will open its doors to the public on the final day and continue to feature trade flying displays.

The Civil Aviation Authority banned vintage jets from carrying out high-energy acrobatics over land in the wake of the August 2015 Shoreham disaster in which 11 people died.

This has led to a number of displays being limited to fly pasts, frustrating some aviation enthusiasts.

Gareth Rogers, chief executive of Farnborough International Airshow, said the Hampshire event’s public display “doesn’t entertain in the way it once did and that was reflected in dwindling audiences”.

He told the Press Association: “The feedback was about value for money. Some of it was negative – there’s no point pretending that it wasn’t.

“What was clear was it wasn’t offering what the public was looking for and we don’t want to put something on that the public isn’t excited about.”

He went on: “As a result of the new rules, multi aerobatic display teams aren’t willing to perform in the same way that they were before.

“We need to do certain things to justify our entrance fee and we’re no longer able to do everything we wanted to do.”

Mr Rogers insisted that Shoreham was one of a “multitude of factors” for ending the public display, stating that attendances have “almost halved in 10 years”.

He stressed that opening the show to the public on the final day will help to “engage and inspire a new generation” by giving them access to “more of the people, products and processes that underpin the global aerospace, defence and space industries”.

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