It has been announced that the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team ‐ the Red Arrows ‐ will be embarking on its first major tour of the US and Canada in more than twenty five years in August and September 2019. This tour of the US and Canada will preclude the Red Arrows from being available to display at Guernsey’s 2019 fifty second Air Display that will take place on Thursday 12 September 2019 from 11:00 to 13:15.
The Red Arrows, like the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and other UK Ministry of Defence aircraft display assets, require bids to be submitted by the end of September each year for displays and fly pasts for the following year’s display season. The success or failure of those bids is not known until Quarter 1 of the respective year.
Organisers of the Guernsey Air Display had the foresight to offset any potential absence of the Red Arrows from the 2019 Guernsey Air Display by submitting a separate one‐off display request for the Red Arrows to display in Guernsey on Thursday 6 June 2019. This date was identified as being the most suitable as it is a weekday and does not conflict with existing established weekend Air Shows and Air Displays in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the 6 June 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of the D‐Day Normandy Landings that started with Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944.
The bid for this one‐off display by the Red Arrows in Guernsey also included the statement that the organisers would be very happy to accept a different weekday date in either June or July if, for whatever reason, Thursday 6 June 2019 was not possible for the Red Arrows.
Barry Neal, Guernsey Air Display Flying Display Director & Organiser, and current Chairman of the British Air Display Association (BADA) commented “Whilst it is always very disappointing when the much admired, respected and loved Red Arrows are not available to display, we will be exercising every endeavour to ensure that the 2019 Guernsey Air Display builds on the strong success of the 2018 Air Display. Plans are already well under way and we will be researching and exploring all opportunities for high calibre display teams for the 2019 Guernsey Air Display.”
The objectives of the annual Guernsey Air Display are to commemorate the lives and legacy of all those RAF airmen, airwomen and aircrew who have served their country with pride over the past 100+ years; to celebrate the invaluable work that RAFA does for all ex and current serving personnel who need support and assistance; and to inspire islanders across Guernsey to continue to support the annual Guernsey Air Display.
Details of the 2019 Guernsey Air Display will be released as they are confirmed.