Further details will be presented to Councillors next week at the Leisure & Development Committee on the new International Airshow that will take place next year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The previous air show known as Airwaves Portrush was located on the eastern side of the peninsula in Portrush.
Whilst this event was extremely successful, in recent years restrictions on the position of the flight-line imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority, has resulted in a diminished viewing experience for spectators.
The Working Group and Project Board have investigated the option to relocate the venue for the air show to the coastal lands between Portrush and Portstewart.
Expert opinion has cited that this will provide a greatly enhanced viewing experience.
A report reads that "after scoping and analysis of the site conditions, the Internal Working Group and Project Board recommends that the new location for the air show should be between Portrush and Portstewart."
The dates proposed for the International Causeway Air Show are 10th and 11th September 2022.
The aims of the air show are:
• To celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
• Drive economic and tourism benefit through attracting visits, bed nights and spend from Northern Ireland’s domestic and international target markets/segments through a high-quality, distinctive programme;
• In doing so - extends the tourism season, while delivering an authentic sense of place based on the heritage, culture, and landscape of Causeway Coast and Glens.
• To act as a regional event for Northern Ireland which enhances the image, profile, and reputation of Causeway Coast and Glens as Northern Ireland’s premier rural and coastal tourist destination.
• To act as an economic driver through linkage to the Northern Ireland aerospace industry, providing a catalyst for creativity, innovation and distinctiveness. The event is supported and promoted by partners and stakeholders within and outside the Council.
The Air Activity Programme Proposal indicative air assets include the following :
• RAF assets including the Red Arrows, the Typhoon and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight,
• Additional assets from the Royal Navy and Army.
• Civilian Air display teams. This will be supplemented by further air activities yet to be confirmed:
• Foreign civilian jet teams.
• Applications will be made to Swiss PC7 team, a 9-ship of training aircraft.
• Swedish Air Force Historic Flight - jets such the Viggen, Draken and Lansen.
• Possibility of ‘Ultimate Warbirds’, a 4-ship of powerful World War 2 fighters.
A ground activity programme is also under consideration consisting of the following :
• Artisan Market. • Soft Play / Amusements. • Viewing Areas / Picnic Tables. • Army and Sea Cadets Demonstrations. • Emergency Services / Event Control. • Food Trading. • Motorhome Parking. • Park and Ride. • VIP / STEM. • RAF / Navy. • Military Stalls. • Aviation Heritage Display. • Ulster Military Vehicle Display. • Royal British Legion. • Cool FM / Media Centre. • Ulster Gliding Club. • Staging Units / Entertainment. • Trade and Sponsorship Opportunities.
The Council ground programme will focus around 7 dedicated viewing locations, where the ‘hubs’ of entertainment and programming will be based:
• Portrush Ampitheatre / Kerr Street Green (Animation Hub). • Black Hill - Viewing Area. • Ballyreagh Main Event Site -No.2. • Juniper Hill - Event Space and Viewing Area. • Rinagree - Event Space and Viewing Area. • The Pitt’s - Main Event Site No.1. • Portstewart - The Crescent Entertainment Hub.
The budget of the event is yet to be confirmed and the item of business will need to be ratified at full Council following a decision taken next week.