Royal International Air Tattoo - RIAT Press Release
HANGAR PARTY FAREWELL TO TIM
THE final event of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014 at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, the Hangar Party awards ceremony, was the occasion for a presentation to Tim Prince, who is stepping down as Chief Executive of the airshow after 42 years.
Following the presentation of the awards, Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and President of RIAT, paid tribute to Tim.
He spoke of Tim’s role in starting, developing and presiding over the biggest military airshow in the world and said: “Tim has given most of his working life to the Air Tattoo and to aviation more widely, and I’m sure we all want to wish him well in his retirement. The RIAT family is very sad to see Tim moving on: he will hand over to his successor Andy Armstrong later this week, and Andy is looking forward to continuing the tradition of excellence and delivering the kind of displays and shows that Tim has established as his record.
He added: “I know all of you will wish to recognise Tim’s outstanding achievements of 43 years of unstinting dedication and imagination in showcasing the brilliance of aviation and caring for its people.”
Alan Smith, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, then presented the RIAT Sword of Merit to Tim, amid tumultuous applause.
Tim replied: “Can I just say a big thank you: I’ve had a great time running this event with a lot of good people – Paul Bowen and everybody that’s been on the team. Many have passed on now but together we’ve all believed in achieving the impossible and over the years we’ve done some outstanding things.
“So my thanks goes to absolutely everybody for helping me have a great 43 years. The Air Tattoo brand is now something pretty famous - long may it last.”
Tim’s words were followed by a storm of Red Arrows confetti, as the Air Tattoo’s volunteers, participants, sponsors and fellow organisers joined in a standing aviation, saying the fondest of farewells to the man who’s been the figurehead of the event for over four decades.
The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust which, in turn, awards grants in support of the RAF family, including serving personnel and Air Cadets. Since it was established in January 2005, the Trustees have awarded over £2.1 million to a wide range of projects and initiatives.