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New Chairman for RAFCT

Published: 04 Jun 2020


Today Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson has handed over Chairmanship of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust to Air Marshal Phil Osborn. 

Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, retiring Chairman said:

"It has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to Chair the RAF Charitable Trust for 7 years. My association with RIAT started almost 30 years ago when I was a volunteer on the Protocol Team. My subsequent roles included leading the Protocol Team, the Patron's Pavilion Team and then as a RIAT Vice President and a Vice Patron, before being given the significant honour to be Chairman of the Trust in 2013. In that time, I have witnessed the air show go from strength to strength, enabled of course by the fantastic skill and hard work of the volunteers, permanent staff and the Air Cadets who make this world-leading event happen. In my time as Chairman, RIAT and the work of RAFCTE, has delivered over £6 million pounds which has allowed the Trust to do its unique work in support of RAF personnel in so many different ways and in encouraging young people to gain skills to enter aerospace and aviation careers. As I hand over to Air Marshal Phil Osborn, I thank all those many thousands of people who have contributed to the work of the Trust in that period and offer my best wishes for the future, as RIAT looks forward to its 50th Anniversary."

Air Marshal Phil Osborn, assuming the Chair said:

"It is a unique honour to have the opportunity to take over Chair of the RAF Charitable Trust, and I do not underestimate the responsibility that come with this rare privilege. I want to record my sincere thanks to Sir Kevin for his exceptional stewardship of the Charity, and for guiding the Trust and RAFCTE to achieve so much success. I know that all those involved with the Trust and RAFCTE, whether beneficiary, employee, volunteer or supporter, joins me in offering him our heartfelt thanks and enduring best wishes.

There is of course much we need to do to continue to build the Trust and to serve our Charitable aims, while taking account of the current uncertainty. However, some things are clear. Our guiding principles of 'promote, support, and encourage' remain as strong and as relevant as ever, particularly as the RAF continues to build the Next Generation RAF. I also know, and have already seen, that everyone involved in running the Trust and RAFCTE, and our many volunteers and supporters, relish the opportunity to ensure that the Trust continues to go from strength to strength. I therefore look forward immensely to playing my part in shaping an even stronger future for the Trust, RIAT and the many who benefit hugely from our support."

“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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