Defence minister confirms ‘potential’ to hold air show at RAF Scampton from 2017

A senior defence minister has offered renewed hope of an air show in the county from as early as 2017 in a letter to a Lincolnshire MP.

Lord Howe, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, has written to Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, to confirm that RAF Scampton could be the home of the county’s air show.

The air show at RAF Waddington was officially scrapped in September 2015 due to “significant security concerns and operational risks.”

In his letter, Lord Howe confirmed that it would not be possible to hold the air show at Waddington in the future, but is open to the possibility of staging the event at a different location.

He said: “Careful consideration has been given to an alternative venue in Lincolnshire which could host an annual RAF air show in future… there may be potential to hold an air show at RAF Scampton but this will not be possible until 2017 at the earliest.”

The minister stressed that no firm decisions have been taken.

Sir Edward Leigh said: “I am grateful to the minister taking the time to update me on the current position.

“I will continue to press the case for RAF Scampton to be made the future home of the county’s air show.

“As the home of the respected Red Arrows squadron, and with its proximity to the Lincolnshire Showground, I think that it could make an ideal location; particularly if security concerns require an off-base location for much of the public areas of a show.”

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Councillor Jeff Summers, added: “This is really good news. West Lindsey District Council has ambitious plans to support our tourism sector and we really want to see it develop, grow and flourish.

“To have an RAF air show in the district would have real knock on effects for our tourism industry. As a council we stand ready to assist to help make this happen.”