THIS year's Air Festival may not be over but planning for next year's event will be underway in a matter of weeks.

Excited spectators old and young have been treated to many dazzling aircraft displays from the Red Arrows, the Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers, and the Typhoon amongst countless other aircrafts.

However, enjoying this year’s event has not stopped organisers from looking ahead to the future.

Dave Walton, flying display director at TSA Consulting, said: “The planning for next year’s show actually starts in a couple of weeks’ time, so I have to bid for all the military aeroplanes at the end of September.

“Just after we finish this event we start planning the next one.

“All that paperwork goes in at the end of September and in the New Year I have to start requesting the protected air space we have here. We have restricted air space which means nobody else can fly in it apart from us. There is a very long process to get all of these bits and pieces in place.

“When I bid for military aircraft, I fill in a form that, for example, says, ‘we would like to have the Red Arrows and the Typhoon come to Bournemouth on these days.’ 

“We explain a bit about the show and how people can watch it and what the media coverage is like. The Air Force will then look at what else is going on in the country and they will allocate us the display assets.

“In June and July, we do all the fun stuff. This includes booking aeroplanes and putting flying programmes together and planning it all, so we end up with the order of aeroplanes that everyone sees flying.


“Generally, we do pretty well in Bournemouth as it’s such a massive and well-received event, so that’s why we tend to get the Red Arrows for all four days which is very unusual.

“Having the Typhoon for four days is also pretty rare. To see the Typhoon flying at night is really rare as well.”

Dave and the team at TSA Consulting host air shows across the country, mainly in seafront locations, but Bournemouth is “by far the biggest and the most complex.”

Dave said: “Bournemouth Air Festival is the biggest in terms of crowd numbers, biggest in terms of the amount of stuff that’s happening on the ground, and none of my other events do three nights of Night Air, so that’s pretty unusual to have that amount of night flying.

“Bournemouth is great and what’s nice is you get spontaneous applause here and people really like the enthusiasm for the show.  You get ripples of applause and people really appreciate things and it’s so nice. Here, we get to see a lot more of the event than we do normally.”