Old Buckenham Airshow WILL go ahead despite lockdown easing delay

A typhoon aircraft flying through the sky

The Typhoon FGR4 will be making its debut at this year's Old Buckenham Airshow - Credit: Paul Johnson/Flightline UK

A popular airshow is going ahead despite a delay to the final easing of coronavirus restrictions, organisers have confirmed. 

Old Buckenham Airshow, due to take place on July 31 and August 1, is being planned to comply with rules as they currently stand.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday evening that the 'Freedom Day' initially scheduled for June 21 was being deferred. 

And, while the government hopes July 19 will signal the end of lockdowns, a further postponement cannot be categorically ruled out. 

Final preparations for the airshow, such as construction work, are therefore being made under the assumption that some Covid laws may remain in place.

The Staggerwing Beechcraft airplane on display at the Old Buckenham Airshow 2018.
Picture: Nick But

An image from Old Buckenham Airshow taken in 2018 - Credit: Nick Butcher

It means attendance will be capped at 4,000 and spectators are being encouraged to book tickets as soon as possible given the "record-breaking rate of sales". 

Matt Wilkins, manager at Old Buckenham Airfield and organiser of its flagship event, said there was little option but to proceed with a firm plan of action.

“2021 has thrown yet another round of uncertainty at us," said Mr Wilkins. 

Old Buckenham Airfield plays host to a permanent display of military vehicles including a tank used

Matt Wilkins, organiser of Old Buckenham Airshow - Credit: Sonya Duncan- Archant

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"The only proper and safe thing to do is to plan for the event under the current restrictions and therefore insulate against a delay to Step 4.

"We’re best placed to make the right and safe choice to ensure that everyone has the best and safest experience at the airshow.

"The good news is that restrictions on the ground do not apply in the air, and so we’ve still got the largest roster of aircraft ever - headlined by the B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B and our recent coup of the RAF Typhoon Display."

The crowds along the flightline ready for the display at Old Buckenham Airshow 2018
Picture: Nic

Spectators enjoying Old Buckenham Airshow in 2018 - Credit: Nick Butcher

In addition to reducing the number of available tickets, organisers are factoring a host of smaller changes into their rewritten event plan and risk assessments. 

These will comply with Step 3 of the government's roadmap and will be communicated with affected ticket-holders. 

Tickets, available from oldbuckenhamairshow.com, must be purchased in advance and VIP entry is already sold out.

In the event of the airshow having to be postponed, tickets will automatically roll over and be valid for the 2022 edition. 

T6 Harvard - Wacky Wabbit on display at the Old Buckenham Airshow 2018.
Picture: Nick Butcher

An image taken during the 2018 edition of Old Buckenham Airshow - Credit: Nick Butcher