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Portsmouth Air Festival

Portsmouth Air Festival Postponed

The 2012 Portsmouth Air Festival that had been planned for Saturday 18th August 2012 will now be held in 2013, with the initial dates of August 10th and 11th being provisionally targeted.

Organisers said they are ‘deeply disappointed’ not to be able to go ahead with the event, which was expected to attract up to 250,000 visitors.

Among the problems they faced were increasing insurance bills, the reluctance of businesses to give their backing in such an event-filled year, and a clash with Pompey’s home game against Bournemouth.

The world-famous RAF Red Arrows were booked to appear alongside the Breitling Wingwalkers, Second World War Spitfire planes and an old Royal Navy Sea Vixen fighter.

Festival director of communications Matt George said: ‘While it is immensely disappointing for all involved it was the only decision that was realistically available to us, postponing the event allows us to put the appropriate level of finances in place in order to do the show and the Portsmouth public justice.

‘It’s also not as simple as just the finances – there have been other unforeseen challenges mounting recently including the low amount of available runway space for jet aircraft because of the Olympics and the added pressure on our city’s infrastructure that the Portsmouth versus Bournemouth game will cause.

‘When you finally add in the unpredictability of the current weather, and the potential that has to ruin our park and ride provisions, it’s just become completely uncontrollable.

‘Come next year at least half of these issues will hopefully be a distant memory.’

He added that the festival had benefited from support from the council – such as it waiving the £8,000 fee for using Southsea Common – but in the end competing with the London Olympics for sponsorship had proved too difficult.

Portsmouth Air Festival website.

Portsmouth.co.uk website.

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