The annual Biggin Hill International Air Fair is to revert to management by the airport company, as it was in earlier days when founder Sqdn Ldr Jock Maitland was Airport Manager and CAA licence-holder.
Following the retirement of Jock Maitland five years ago from active involvement in the organisation of the Air Fair through his company Air Displays International and the understandable non-executive status of his son Jim in the company, the family links as organisers have diminished as BHAP Chairman Andrew Walters explains.
“Now that the Maitland family involvement has subsided as principals, the new circumstances are that the airport management and staff are required by law to assume a high degree of control over the air show event. As effective owners and CAA licence-holders, this is now our obligation” he said.
Mr Walters paid tribute to Sqdn Ldr Maitland and his family for the phenomenal success of the Air Fair series that he founded in 1963.
“Millions of people have enjoyed your shows over nearly five decades, which is a personal legacy to you. Hundreds of people – possibly thousands – have been inspired to take up jobs or careers in aviation after experiencing the dynamic appeal of the show. They have much to thank you for, as I do” Mr Walters said.
Mr Walters confirms that ‘the show will go on’ and that a suitable date for 2011 will be agreed soon.
“We shall consult widely with airport stakeholders and tenants before any lasting decisions are made on future arrangements and this consultation will proceed without delay” Mr Walters confirmed.