Should Sidmouth Air Show be grounded?

The Red Arrows flying over Sidmouth during the Airshow

The Red Arrows flying over Sidmouth during the Airshow - Credit: Sidmouth Town Council

This year’s Sidmouth Air Show could be the last if local residents tell the town council they do not want the event to continue. 

The council wants to clarify the level of local support for the Air Show, featuring the Red Arrows, and is asking residents to complete an online survey by Wednesday, June 29. 

The survey is part of a review of the economic, social, environmental and media-related impacts of the Air Show, which will also involve a visitor survey and a consultation with local businesses. The town council will make a decision on the future of the show at the end of this year. 

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire is among the aircrafts confirmed for Sidmouth. Picture: R

Spitfires also perform at Sidmouth Air Show - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson for the council said: “As part of its ongoing commitment to ensuring that town events enjoy community involvement and support, Sidmouth Town Council is conducting a survey to understand residents’ views on the Air Show. The Council values opinions about whether residents continue to support the event and if so, how it could be improved.” 

The survey asks: 

*Do you feel that Sidmouth Air Show brings an overall positive benefit to the people and community in Sidmouth? 

"Would you support the Sidmouth Air Show, featuring the Red Arrows, returning to Sidmouth in future years? 

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"How likely are you to attend the Sidmouth Air Show this year? 

"Do your family and friends visit you on the day of Sidmouth Air Show?"  

The survey then invites suggestions on how the Air Show could be improved by running other events and activities alongside it, including more food and drink options, late-night shopping, a family-friendly music event, a funfair, a fireworks display, son-et-lumiere, craft stalls or other attractions. 

Five of the Red Arrows during their display over Sidmouth

Five of the Red Arrows during their display over Sidmouth - Credit: Mark Eburne

The Sidmouth Air Show, featuring the Red Arrows, has been part of the town’s calendar of events from the 1960s through to the early 2000s, and was revived in 2015. Last year the town council said an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 people watched the display from the Esplanade, beach and hillsides, and it was a record year for fundraising. 

However, the Herald is aware that some people are concerned about the environmental impact of staging aeronautical displays, and that while many Sidmouth businesses benefit from the influx of visitors on the day, others may find the event disruptive. 

The survey can be completed here.