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Volunteer Roles

Read more about what's involved within some of the volunteer teams below;

Admissions Team

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The RIAT Admissions Team are responsible for the smooth and efficient entry /exit of customers to the World's Greatest Military Airshow. Team Members find it a rewarding and on occasion challenging role but one that allows any volunteer the chance to help many customers enjoy their day at Fairford. The team has been integral to RIAT since the very first Air Tattoo in 1971 and continues to play a vital role.

Air Operations

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The Air Operations Team is responsible for all aviation aspects of the Royal International Air Tattoo and includes areas dedicated to Aircraft Handling, Refuelling, Follow Me Services, Air Movements, Aircrew Reception, Flying Display, Air Traffic Control Services, Flying Operations and Weather Services. Due to the nature of the Air Operations department we ideally look to recruit individuals with a professional aviation background who have the time and energy to support the RAFCTE permanent staff to deliver a safe and successful RIAT each year.

Air Tattoo Merchandise & Programmes

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The Air Tattoo Merchandise & Programmes Team carry out all official merchandise functions, selling official RIAT products such as t-shirts, collectables, souvenir programmes and more, in order to raise funds for our parent charity, the RAF Charitable Trust.

Volunteers are involved in the set-up of merchandise units pre-show, selling merchandise and souvenir programmes to visitors to the Air Tattoo itself, and clearing away the merchandise units post show.

Volunteers must be friendly, approachable and quick to learn, as this is a customer facing role which will involve lots of interaction with visitors to the Air Tattoo. They must also be confident with handling money, due to the nature of the role.


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A small Chaplaincy Team, established under the control of an experienced Team Leader, are responsible for the provision of chaplaincy support and pastoral care to the Air Tattoo visitors, staff and aircrews. Members of the team are embedded within the Medical Centre, Response Columns and Control Centre; furthermore in the event of an incident Chaplaincy support is likely to be required at a Survivor Reception Centre and Friends & Family Reception Centre.

Some posts require individuals to commit slightly less or more time dependent upon their specific roles.

Comms & IT

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The Communications Systems Group provide the communication networks that holds the Air Tattoo together and is a combination of three teams, Radios, Telephones and I.T. The team members, civilian and military, bring with them existing skills in their respective areas. These specialists are backed up by a support team who provide administrative and logistics support.

Anyone with skills in telephone installation, Mitel 3300 system, private mobile radio systems or point to multi-point radio systems would be of interest. Anyone with good customer facing or administrative skills are also welcome. However, due to the security of the IT systems, we are unable to take IT team volunteers that are not well known to us.

Customer Services

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The Customer Services Team is the face of the Air Tattoo and our prime focus is to help and assist our visitors ensuring that they have an amazing day and go home happy! The team includes our famous Air Tattoo Crew in their brightly coloured uniform and large aircraft shaped foam hands! They meet visitors in the car parks and at the entry points when they arrive and are located in our information points as well as roaming around the showground. They are on hand to answer questions, give directions and advise on the best attractions to see at the show. The team also include members that manage and run the Service Stations which provide facilities such as catering, bars, seating, toilets, visitor information and cash points. The Air Tattoo Crew also provides assistance in the Service Stations by way of a rapid response team to assist the Service Station Managers to ensure our visitors have a great experience. If you have customer service experience or just a great personality and enjoy interacting with people then please apply to join the Customer Service Team!

Emergency Services Control

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A number of individuals work within the Emergency Service Control Room alongside Silver Control and fulfil command, control and co-ordination roles both within the Control Room and at the scene of any incident that the Air Tattoo Emergency Services may deploy to.

Some posts require individuals to commit slightly less time dependent upon their specific roles.

Emergency Services Medical

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A wide range of individuals volunteer in order to provide Medical support to the Air Tattoo visitors, staff and aircrews including First-Aiders, EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses and Doctors.

Some posts require individuals to commit slightly less or more time dependent upon their specific roles.

Exhibition Ops

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Membership of the RIAT Exhibition Operations Team is only available to those volunteers who can commit to RIAT for at least two week-ends. The Team work long and demanding days from the Saturday before the show week-end to the Monday following the show. They are responsible for ensuring 100's of Exhibitors, Traders, and Catering Outlets are correctly positioned across the length and breadth of what is initially a blank airfield canvas. They mark out (to the centimetre) where each exhibitor is to be located. They site them, they mediate and to some extent police what goes where and what is sold. It is a demanding but very rewarding role currently carried out by a well lead and motivated team.


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Finance volunteers will be lead by an experienced team manager and will be responsible for the handling of cash over the show operating days (Fri-Sun). Members of the team will be responsible for counting and recording cash takings from all trading outlets on the showground. All cash counting will be done in pairs and then recorded on the relevant cash sheets for that day.

Friends of RIAT (FRIAT)

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Welcome to the enthusiast's enclosure with the "best seats in the house"!

The permanent staff and Volunteer team welcome and look after our FRIAT members during their time with us at the show.

As a member of the volunteer team your role will be to escort FRIAT members to and from the enclosure on non-public days. During the public days you will be the first point of contact at the entrance of the FRIAT enclosure. You will check that relevant passes are shown and at the same time help other members of the public with directions around the show ground.

Our MACH3 members join us in the enclosure on Thursday from 8am and stay with us through to Monday for the departures.

MACH2 guests join us from the Friday through to departures on Monday. Then the MACH1 members are with us for the Saturday and Sunday of the show.

Saturday and Sunday the enclosure will be its busiest with up to 1850 guests within the enclosure.

Great people, long hours, hard work but what fun and what a team!

Health and Safety Team

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Qualified Health and Safety and/or Environmental Health personnel required to join the Health and Safety Team.

The Health and Safety team conducts audits throughout the showground and associated real estate including the engineering technical site as well as the domestic site. Working to our Health and Safety Advisor the team conducts a programme of audits to ensure that all risk mitigation activity is being undertaken and, if necessary, introducing safe ways of working to remedy faults found.

Hospitality Chalets

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The Hospitality Chalet complex is made up of over 15 individual corporate hospitality units purchased by companies wishing to network with their own guest's right at the centre of the showground. The chalets are in operation for three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and take a week to fit out prior to the client's arrival. The management of the complex is undertaken by two permanent members of staff and supported by approximately 18 volunteers.

Media Liaison Group

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The media liaison group is responsible for handling all media enquiries during the Air Tattoo, hosting journalists from around the world, escorting media around the site and operating a press office.

Park & View

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The Park & View Team enjoy one of the more unusual roles within the RIAT volunteer community. Park & View opens before the show as the aircraft arrive on the Wednesday and then remains in action until the Monday after the show to cover aircraft departures. This close-knit team operates across two locations (miles apart) and thrives upon the logistical challenges this presents. The unique camaraderie of RIAT volunteers is personified by Park & View as they meet the requirements of 1000's of aviation enthusiasts and their families.

Public Enclosures

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Volunteers in this area you will be assisting the Enclosures Manager with both the set up and take down of the enclosure as well as looking after our visitors and making sure that the enclosure runs smoothly from the moment they arrive, to be welcomed by a cheery smile, until they are waved on their homeward journey after a great day at Air Tattoo.

Sector Marshals

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Individuals will cover the showground in all types of weather on bicycles and, therefore, need to be physically fit for these duties.

The Sector Marshals report to Director Operations and are responsible for policing the showground to ensure that safety is maintained and regulatory requirements complied with.

They also provide assistance to members of the public when required. In the event of an emergency, Sector Marshals play a pivotal role in the evacuation (either whole or in part) of the showground.

Showground Reception

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The prime role of Showground Reception is to receive and process contractors, participants, visitors and deliveries to the showground. To provide a welcoming first port of call, reception staff will issue passes to expected arrivals and provide adequate information and assistance to enable arrivals to get to their intended place of work or business as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Site & Logistics Team

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Responsible for the site build and pull down for the event, the whole process covers a 6 week period with most site team volunteers arriving the weekend before the show.

Tasks include; roping & staking the main crowd line, coning off various areas, installing crowd barrier, various site deliveries and assisting other departments where ever possible.

A number of the tasks require a lot physical effort so we would ask you to take this into consideration before you volunteer for this role. This is a stand out team of outstanding people.

Due to the nature and timings of the tasks, we would require all Site & Logistics team volunteers offer no less than two consecutive weekends.

Staff Reception

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Staff Reception volunteers are the first point of contact for all RIAT volunteers for which there are approximately 2500! Here all the volunteers are issued with their security passes and accommodation details along with any other information that individuals may need for their time with us. It is important that staff reception volunteers are welcoming with a cheery disposition and are willing to help out with any queries that may occur.


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The RIAT Transport fleet grows from One Ford SMax in May to over 250 vehicles of all shapes and sizes by show time in July. The RIAT Transport team operates from its own off-base location and is responsible for all aspects of fleet operation from managing the 'pool' to individual taskings. The range of skills required covers the full gambit of driver qualifications from HGV and buses to specialist vehicles. If you want to be part of a busy and dynamic team then this is one for you.

RAF Charitable Trust

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The volunteers will be assisting the RAF Charitable Trust. Their activities will include:

  • Manning the Trust's display within the Techno Zone, explaining the objectives of the Trust to visitors.
  • Overseeing the cash collection at the main exit points of the Showground.

VIP Guest Management

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The VIP Guest Management Team is currently recruiting volunteers into the following positions:

Protocol Team (various roles)

The RIAT Protocol Team provides driving and escort services for our overseas VIP guests and a number of UK based VVIPs. We are looking for well turned out, confident and polite individuals who feel comfortable in a very senior environment. Due to the nature of the role, the Guest Management Team will consider all applications on an individual basis.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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