South Ayrshire Council is delighted to confirm Les Garside-Beattie OBE (Group Captain Retired) as the Flying Display Director (FDD) for the proposed upcoming International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight, which is in the planning stage for September this year.
Council officers are working with partners in the preparation for the event, which will be considered by Council for final approval in March.
Mr Garside-Beattie brings 40 years’ experience in the aerospace and defence industries. 30 of these he spent piloting within the military, where he ultimately achieved the rank of Group Captain. He then went on to exercise his expertise in a range of commercial environments.
With extensive Display Pilot and air display experience, having been FDD at Farnborough, Jersey and Bahrain International Air Displays, Mr Garside-Beattie will work with council officers and event partners to plan the delivery of a spectacular event that will showcase a range of safe, creative and impressive flight displays.
One of the few Civil Aviation Authority Tier 3 accredited personnel in the UK, Mr Garside-Beattie will use his vast aviation-related specialist knowledge to carry out a range of roles as FDD. He will advise on safety and regulations; airspace requirements; site planning; and manage all flying display related activities.
Mr Garside-Beattie OBE said: “I am delighted to be selected as Flying Display Director at this prestigious event and I look forward to working with the whole team to bring together a safe and successful event that has youth and innovation at its heart.”
South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Culture and Rural Affairs, Councillor Alec Clark said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Mr Garside-Beattie onboard. With over 40 years’ aviation experience, his breadth and depth of knowledge will be invaluable to our officers in the planning and delivery of the International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight. His record and achievements speak for themselves, and I know we’re in very safe hands and on track to deliver a fantastic event later this year.”
South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, Councillor Brian Connolly, said: “Getting the right people in place to work with us in the run up to, and for the duration of this event, is key to its success. Mr Garside-Beattie will be an integral part in the preparation and execution of the new air show and I’m looking forward to enjoying the results of his valued and essential input.”
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Martin Dowey, said: “The Flying Display Director plays a crucial role in any air show and Mr Garside-Beattie’s impressive career history shows he is the right person to help us deliver an unforgettable air show in September. Mr Garside-Beattie is well-known and respected in the aviation industry and beyond, so it’s a privilege to have him join us as we prepare for the event.“