The Lydd Airshow management team, along with key decision makers at London Ashford Airport (Lydd), have reluctantly decided to cancel Lydd Airshow 2008. They had planned to run the event on the weekend of the 28 and 29 June.

Lydd Airport managing director Zaher Deir said he was disappointed to announce the cancellation of this summer’s event. More than 20,000 people attended Lydd Airshow in 2006 (its debut year) and 2007 and the event had quickly established itself as a major draw in Kent’s tourism calendar attracting in the region of 25,000 people.

He said: “Staging such a large-scale public event has been a huge organisational challenge and has been very costly. For the last two years Lydd Airshow has relied solely on Lydd Airport for its full financial support. To safeguard its future we recognised that a major sponsor was needed to help cover the cost of staging the airshow at Lydd but, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to attract a suitable sponsor.

“LAA is simply unable to keep covering the full cost of the airshow, so we have had no option but to cancel for this year.”

Mr Deir held out hope that the Lydd Airshow could return. “We will look into holding the airshow for 2009 provided we can secure sufficient funds. Looking further ahead, we would hope to run this popular family event every other year from there on.”

More than £20m has been invested in upgrading facilities at Lydd and the airport is currently involved in a long-running bid to gain planning consent from Shepway District Council for a new passenger terminal and an extension to its runway.

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