Two of the UK’s most prestigious airshows have worked together to reschedule their previously published show dates for 2012 in order to operate harmoniously alongside the Olympic Games in London.
The airshows in question, the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) have a history of supporting one another and working together. In 2008, FIA organisers Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) extended the hand of friendship to RIAT customers when its show was unavoidably called off due to extreme weather conditions, by opening the doors of Farnborough’s public airshow to members of Friends of RIAT who had been disappointed by the cancellation of the event which is held yearly at RAF Fairford.
This time, it is RIAT who are helping to accommodate Farnborough ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. FIL had originally planned to hold its biennial airshow in the week of 16-22 July 2012, however as the Olympic Games will take place between 27 July and 12 August in London, organisers were aware that this could potentially cause difficulty for exhibitors and visitors in sourcing accommodation and other vital services for the show.
Traditionally RIAT is held on the weekend prior to FIA in order to enable military chiefs and senior aerospace figures to attend both. A joint decision was therefore made between FIL and RIAT, to move forward the dates of both shows by one week, thus keeping with tradition and ensuring that Farnborough’s exhibitors and visitors can benefit from fully available resources. Farnborough International Airshow 2012 will now take place 9-15 July 2012, preceded by the Royal International Air Tattoo on 7-8 July 2012.
Speaking of the new arrangements, FIL Chief Executive Shaun Ormrod said: “It is vital that the services we require to produce the airshow are readily available and by moving the dates forward by a week we can be sure that they will be. We are also aware that many of our visitors will want to take in all three of these fantastic summer events and we hope that this will make it easier to do that. We are extremely grateful to RIAT for accommodating us to achieve this conclusion.”
Air Tattoo Director Tim Prince added: “We were of course aware that the date changes could have an effect on some of the UK’s other airshows however we explored all options and consulted other organisers who recognised the need for us to change our traditional dates because of the exceptional circumstances and the importance 2012 carries as a year for the UK’s events industry.
“We all feel it is important in a summer when the world’s eyes are focused in our direction that the UK’s aviation events continue to work together and support each other wherever they can. This, the true spirit of British aviation shows UK PLC at its very best and we want to ensure it stays that way.”