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Message from Paul Atherton CEO

Published: 17 Feb 2021


Dear Supporters 

The team has been working hard during the past six months to explore ways in which the Air Tattoo could take place against the backdrop of the pandemic but, with five months to the event, there still remained too many unknowns.  

If we knew, with some degree of certainty what the situation would be in the summer, we'd be able to plan ahead but, the truth is, we simply don't know. We have reached a point where, to plan further, would involve us committing large sums of money to secure the event infrastructure. Without any insurance being available this year, this money would be lost if the airshow had to cancel nearer the time. It was simply too big a risk to take.  

I know how disappointed all those who are involved in the airshow will be, from our incredible army of volunteers and loyal ticketholders to our valued corporate guests, suppliers, traders and sponsors, as well as the many military air arms from around the globe, but I also know they will understand and support our decision. Public safety is paramount, and we also have a duty to protect the future of RIAT.  By making this decision in a timely and controlled manner, we will be in a far stronger position to bounce back in 2022.  

It is particularly disappointing to have to announce the cancellation of the airshow this year as everyone was looking forward to marking the Air Tattoo's 50th at RAF Fairford in July and we had some great ideas as to how best to celebrate the incredible achievements of this much-loved event since it was first staged in 1971. We remain determined to identify new opportunities to mark this important milestone this year, both by building on the success of last year's inaugural Virtual Air Tattoo as well as other exciting activities, where possible.  

All ticketholders will be contacted by 26 February and offered either a refund or the opportunity to roll over their tickets to next year for which we would be extremely grateful. RIAT22 will be a spectacular occasion and will take place on July 15-17. For more information about roll overs and refunds see HERE.

Warmest regards 

Paul Atherton 
CEO  

“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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