Decision on RAF Waddington Air Show close as Lincoln MP fights for its future

The future of the Waddington International Air Show remains unclear, with Lincoln MP Karl McCartney continuing his campaign for it to be restored to the calendar before a final decision is reached.

The show was cancelled this year to allow the £35m work to rebuild the runway and improve airfield facilities to be completed.

However, the work has overrun which has meant that the project is not expected to be finished until well into 2016.

A full review of the RAF’s future commitment to airshows conducted by the Ministry of Defence has been ongoing since March of this year.

In parliament, Mark Lancaster MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans, revealed that the RAF Board Review’s decision can now be expected in the near future.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney. Photo: Steve Smailes/The Lincolnite

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney. Photo: Steve Smailes/The Lincolnite

McCartney has contributed to the review and has said that the economic and cultural benefits that the show brings to Lincolnshire should mean that it is preserved for future years.

He said: “We enjoy having an airshow due to the profile it gives our city, county and region, and the attraction that it represents to visitors, whose contribution to our local economy directly attributable to the airshow is calculated at well over £15m every year.

“The RAF’s presence in Lincolnshire – the home of both the Red Arrows and Bomber Command – is, of course, a prominent feature of our county’s history, and on the basis of current plans and projections the service is likely to be a significant presence affecting the future of our county.

“Lincolnshire is proud of that history, and is keen to provide further for that future.

“I shall continue to work to secure the future of the RAF Waddington International Airshow and ensure that our city and county is at the very forefront of what will be the large and year-long 100th anniversary celebrations of the RAF’s existence in 2018, as well as celebrating the centenary of RAF Waddington in 2016.”