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Plans underway for 2019 Folkestone air displays after success of Red Arrows 2018 visit

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

Organisers behind last summer's air displays in Folkestone say they are in the planning stages for the event to return this year.

Thousands of people descended on Folkestone seafront and the Leas last July to witness the likes of the world-famous Red Arrows soar over the English Channel.

The aerobatic team were the star attraction of the weekend, entitled the Folkestone and Hythe RAF 100, with a 20-minute presentation leaving a vapour trail of red, white and blue.

The Red Arrows display team over The Leas, Folkestone, Sunday 22nd July, during the Folkestone air show. Picture: Barry Goodwin (3213533)
The Red Arrows display team over The Leas, Folkestone, Sunday 22nd July, during the Folkestone air show. Picture: Barry Goodwin (3213533)

The commemorative event celebrated the centenary year of the air force, and also included the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight showing off the historic Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane.

Now, event director Chris Yates from Headcorn Events, said that preparations are underway for a similar event this summer: "We are planning to go ahead.

"We also have a number of flypasts throughout the summer which will pass Folkestone and the Battle of Britain Memorial."

It is ultimately the organisers' decision to book the planes that fly, but Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) has confirmed money has been allocated by the authority for the Red Arrows, meaning they could potentially make an appearance.

It comes after Mr Yates previously said that the event bosses would need to talk with the council about the viability of a 2019 show.

Folkestone Red Arrows Display over The Leas .Crowds gather.Picture: Paul Amos. (3194713)
Folkestone Red Arrows Display over The Leas .Crowds gather.Picture: Paul Amos. (3194713)

Cllr David Monk, leader for FHDC, said: "We are delighted to have been able to set aside funds for a Red Arrows display, as we have in the past.

"We look forward to seeing them involved in the organisers' programme."

Last year's event took place during the summer heatwave, with thousands making the journey from all over the south east to see the spectacle.

Organiser Chris Yates. Picture: Paul Amos.
Organiser Chris Yates. Picture: Paul Amos.

Before then, the Red Arrows were last due to be in the town in 2016 for the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

However, thunder and heavy rain forced the show to be cancelled. The adverse weather meant the stunt pilots were left waiting on the ground for more than 40 minutes for a break in the weather.

Before this, their previous visit was in 2014.

Dates for the 2019 displays are yet to be confirmed by organisers.

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