Royal International Air Tattoo says farewell to long-serving chairman

  • 28th Jul 2023

This year’s Royal International Air Tattoo marked a final farewell to Alan Smith CBE, who stepped down from his role as chairman after 47 years supporting the event in a range of positions.

The event is organised by the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises (RAFCTE) in aid of its parent charity the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust (RAFCT).

Alan first joined RAFCTE in 1976 after many successful years in retail with the likes of Superdrug and B&Q.

As a keen aviation fan, he was a natural fit for the organisation and has gone on to have a noticeable impact on the event and its staff, who operate out of Douglas Bader House in Fairford.

In 2017, Alan was recognised in the late Queen’s Birthday Honours list, where he was awarded as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Chief Executive Officer at Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, Paul Atherton said: “Alan has been associated with RIAT since 1976 fulfilling a range of roles as sponsor, advisor, non-Executive Director, Trustee and Chair, all which are unpaid and extremely demanding on his personal time.

“What RIAT is today is without doubt the result of his unselfish, insightful and resolute leadership.  He has been an inspiring figure throughout, has motivated everyone with whom he has worked and has cemented his position as a RIAT legend who gave far more than he ever received.”

Alan’s successor has also been appointed, Simon Kimble, who officially started his role earlier this month.

This year’s show was another show-stopping event with over 250 aircraft participating in either the flying or static display from 25 different nations.