Organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo staged a special Question Time at their headquarters in Fairford, Gloucestershire, where guests were invited to grill them on all aspects of the event – from aircraft participation to the price of hamburgers.

Aircraft enthusiasts, the media and the public were invited to the Stakeholders’ Forum, which was last held in 2005, to have their say about the world’s biggest military airshow. Around 80 guests from all over the country attended the event. Air Tattoo Director Tim Prince introduced the meeting with an overview of RIAT 2007 and a look ahead to this year’s event on July 12-13.

The mood was buoyant, with more than 90 minutes of questioning providing open discussion, with several attendees thanking the RIAT team for their efforts in organising the airshow. They also welcomed the announcement of the first aircraft to be confirmed for this summer’s airshow, from countries including Brazil, Pakistan, Canada, Hungary, Norway and Chile.

Among the subjects discussed was the timing of the flying display, the introduction of day-specific tickets, the ‘congested’ UK airshow calendar and the layout of aircraft around the showground. Members of the forum also praised the quality of the Air Tattoo‘s official DVD.

The meeting closed with a special offer, bids being invited for a complete set of Aircraft Illustrated from Vol 1 No 1 to the present, offered by FRIAT member Richard Andrews, a member of the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo with the money raised going to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.

Mr Prince said: “The Air Tattoo has many stakeholders including the Royal Air Force, our sponsors, the local community and our parent charity and we are in regular dialogue with them to make sure we are meeting their needs. The Stakeholders’ Forum is a wonderful opportunity to bring together aircraft enthusiasts and the public and give them a platform to air their views about an event that is close to their hearts.

“We continually look for ways to improve what is already a wonderful event and listening to the views of our stakeholders is an important part of this process.”