Thousands of enthusiasts and excited families have descended on Herne Bay today for a spectacular air show with an eyecatching line-up.
The free event, which attracted 70,000 people last year, features a total of 22 display teams and 47 aircraft – including 18 jets.
Bosses at the BayPromoTeam shelved plans to take a year out this year after the Red Arrows confirmed they will take to the skies again today.
Speaking before the event, organiser Gerald McCarthy said: “Last year the bar was raised hugely with Herne Bay events.
“We were not entirely sure we could better it, but we have had a good go this year.
“We have international aircraft and helicopter displays – I think our show will match some of the best off-shore air shows in the country at the moment.”
After two no-shows, the Lancaster bomber will feature in the new line-up, which also sees the return of the awe-inspiring Eurofighter Typhoon.
Mr McCarthy said: “It is a fantastic spectacle for the town – the seafront is the shop window and there will be a lot of people looking.
“The key to people enjoying it will be to use public transport.
"It is a fantastic spectacle for the town – the seafront is the shop window and there will be a lot of people looking..." - Gerald McCarthy
"People need to take sensible precautions, like sun cream for the little ones and looking after their children at the event.”
The display will start at noon today, with the Eurofighter jet on show at 12.50pm before the Red Arrows arrive at 2pm.
They will join dozens of other display team and aircraft, including the Tigers freefall parachute team.
Mr McCarthy said: “The crowd-pleasers are obviously the Red Arrows and the Eurofighter Typhoon, but many people will be looking forward to seeing the Russian Mig 15.
“For me personally, I am looking forward to seeing the Lancaster Bomber.
“Two years ago it was stopped by bad weather and last year it had an engine fire, but they are all ready and it will be a big box ticked in terms of upping the display to have the Lancaster Bomber.”
Mr McCarthy now thinks the show can match any other display.
He said: “On a like-for-like basis, I think we will be matching any off-shore display.
“A lot of those shows have huge backing from the local council financially, so I think we do stand out as doing something quite remarkable."
Organisers say visitors need to use public transport for the event.
Bosses at Southeastern and Stagecoach will both be significantly strengthening services to help meet demand, with the train operator increasing its service by 180%.
Extra bus drivers and services will be on standby for the show, which attracted about 70,000 people last summer.
"People need to consider Herne Bay as an event venue..." - Gerald McCarthy
Organiser Gerald McCarthy said: “People need to consider Herne Bay as an event venue – treat it like going to a stadium on Sunday and use public transport to get there.
“If travel advice is ignored, visitors will very likely end up stuck in traffic.
“The Manston air show had 13-mile tailbacks and people were stuck for five hours one year.”
Mr McCarthy said four-car trains will be increased to 12 today.
He said: “It is a free event and hopefully that can offset the cost of public transport.
“You do not want to be stuck on the M2 or Thanet Way seeing the planes from your car.
“It is best for people to expect some queues – whether it is for toilets, trains or buses.”