Air festival organisers defend line-up

Lowestoft air festival organisers have downplayed claims that this summer's show will lack the "wow" factor.

Lowestoft air festival organisers have downplayed claims that this summer's show will lack the "wow" factor.

So far, very few flying displays have been announced for the event on Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, due to the RAF's lack of involvement.

Only the Red Arrows, Tucano and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are confirmed because the RAF events team is limiting its allocation of aircraft to UK shows, largely down to the number of planes in the Middle East.

And in a further blow, international air forces such as the Belgian, US and Netherlands teams are refusing to display on the seafront because they are not receiving similar exhibiting aircraft from Britain.

However, Paul Bayfield, managing director of the town's air festival committee, said he was not disappointed with what Lowestoft had secured because other shows around the country had failed to attract any RAF involvement.

He said: "What has happened is that the RAF have changed the way they allocate aircraft from a participation committee to an events team which has coincided with the number of aircraft they have got in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."

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Mr Bayfield said that despite the lack of international involvement, they were still keeping in contact with all teams in the hope they could participate.

"All is not lost. All that it means is that we will engage in lots more civilian operations and we are

still negotiating with two major exhibitors.

But the money is definitely there, our flying budget is in place and the show is going to be as good, if not possibly better."

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