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Air Tattoo Blog

Meet Our Air Operations Team!

Published: 17 Apr 2019   updated: 15 Jul 2019

We know that you love to learn more about the behind the scenes operation at Air Tattoo HQ! Each team works incredibly hard to ensure that the Air Show is a success and this week we've decided to feature our Air Operations Team. Read our Q&A with the team below...

(Back Row: Tony, Olivia, Norm. Front: Tom)

Name: Tom 

Position: Head of Air Operations

What do you do: I team lead for the fantastic permanent and volunteer Air Operations team and it's a privilege.

How long have you worked at the Air Tattoo: I've worked full time for seven years and I was previously a long serving volunteer whilst serving in the Royal Air Force.

Dream aircraft you would like to see at the show?

There's been a few candidates over the years with the list of iconic aircraft still in service getting shorter each year. I think I'll have to answer this question in two parts, historic and current military.

Top of my historic dream sheet would be the de Havilland Mosquito. It's been a long time since I saw one of these beauties fly and with a small number now airworthy thanks to the efforts of some very talented individuals wouldn't it be something to see one back in the skies above Fairford!

As for current military, I guess it has to be the MiG-25 'Foxbat' although the chance of seeing one of the these in the UK are nigh on zero, I can but dream.

Name: Tony

Position: Air Operations Manager

What do you do: I help the team on all air related support regarding the show and I'm on a learning curve as we get closer to the show. I'm also responsible for the Air Safety Management Plan and "special projects" such as the QinetiQ tracker to be used at this year's show.

How long have you worked at the Air Tattoo: 

I've worked alongside RAFCTE since 2001, but only joined the company in January this year. My previous role was as Airfield Manager at RAF Fairford for over 17 years. So I know the site very well and I have seen how RIAT builds up and comes down again from the other side of the fence.

What are you most excited to see at the show this year?

I'm looking forward to seeing how it all goes together and watching it from this side of the fence. The Spanish Harriers will be a very welcome sight and I always enjoy seeing the BBMF!

Name: Olivia 

Position: Air Operations Executive

What do you do: The main aspect of my role is to coordinate the military and civilian crew requirements while they stay with us over the air show including accommodation, security ID passes and ensuring that our team have all the information they need for when aircraft fly into RIAT.

How long have you worked at the Air Tattoo: Four Years

What is the most rewarding thing about working at the Air Tattoo?

The most rewarding part of my role is working along side the incredible volunteer team we have. As they start arriving onsite there is a real buzz of excitement. They bring to life all of our ideas and planning and their dedication and enthusiasm is contagious!

Name: Norm 

Position: Air Operations Officer

What do you do: I plan the arrivals and rehearsal programme, assist with planning the display programme and help with the initial display pilot/team documentation scrutiny. 

How long have you worked at the Air Tattoo? Ten Years

What is your ultimate favourite moment from the air show?

Many years ago I was participant in the display at the show and we had a huge aircrew party on board the Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707 Tanker. The over wing exits were opened and there was a great crowd of us stood on the wing and watching the show.

“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, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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