PLANS to raise the fee for holding aerial displays could damage the Bournemouth Air Festival, organisers have warned.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a consultation, due to end on February 29, on proposals to increase the fees it collects from such events by 100 per cent, in a bid to better recover its regulation costs and introduce new safety measures after last year’s tragic crash at Shoreham Airshow.

However, Bournemouth Air Festival organisers have claimed the proposals would actually see their fees quadruple, with a consequent adverse affect on the show.

Director Jon Weaver said: “The proposed CAA consultation document would see our costs increase significantly more than 100 per cent, from £2,527 in 2015 to nearly £12,000 in 2016.

“Whilst we understand there will be a requirement to increase the charges, as a result of the CAA’s ongoing review of airshow safety, we believe there is no justification whatsoever to increase costs by such a huge amount.

“Sadly any potential impact would ultimately be on the quality of the air festival content.”

Mr Weaver said the organisers were working with the British Air Display Association (BADA) to petition the consultation document.

In the document, the CAA says it is “continuing to significantly under recover” its costs from flying displays and low flying permission fees, and it states the need to “ensure that those charges reflect the amount of work that is actually carried out”.

Also, the authority says the move was prompted by the recommendations of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch after last August’s Hawker Hunter T7 crash at Shoreham Airshow, which left 11 people dead and 16 injured.

It was the deadliest air show accident in the UK since the 1952 Farnborough air show crash, which killed 31 people, and a number of new safety measures have been put forward in the wake of the disaster which the CAA says will require extra regulation.

The consultation states: “To enable the CAA to implement these important additional safety enhancements, early indications are that there will be a requirement for increased regulatory resources resulting in further operating costs estimated to be £250,000.”

If implemented, the new fees would apply from April 1 this year, well in advance of the Air Festival, which runs from August 18-21.