A Million People Expected At Bournemouth Air Festival

The Bournemouth Air Festival returns today - with organisers saying they've made safety tweaks following the Shoreham disaster.

Bournemouth Air Festival Red Arrows

The display area's slightly bigger so people watching in boats will need to be further away, while some planes will be flying closer to Boscombe Pier.

Festival Director Jon Weaver told Heart:

"We have to consider what we call secondary crowd. The main type is water vessels watching the displays. Some of those boats will be further out to sea, to south, east and west to make sure they are in a safer position.

"The central display line has had to move about 400 metres further east so some of the aircraft are displaying closer to Boscombe Pier.

"We've really focused on that and think we have a robust plan in place to address the revised requirements that the Civil Aviation Authority has put in for all air shows across the UK."

More than a million people are expected in the town over the four days (Thursday 18 - Sunday 21 August) - to watch displays from the likes of the Red Arrows, Typhoon and Breitling Wingwalkers.

The event's worth £30 million to the local economy.

This year there are more than 15 display teams and 40 aircraft supported by more than 55 ground crew. This includes the world-famous Red Arrows, The Blades Super Aerobatics and RAF Typhoon alongside this year's new additions the Swiss Super Puma Display Team, Mitchell B-25, StrikeMaster, Great War Display Team and Otto the helicopter.

Swiss Air Force Super Puma Display Pilot Captain Matthieu Ghiringhelli said: 

"On behalf of the Swiss Air Force I am delighted we will be participating at this summer's Bournemouth Air Festival - we have heard great things about the event on the air show circuit. I hope visitors will enjoy watching the incredible agility demonstrated by the Super Puma Display Team - see you soon!"

Last seen in 2013, the Breitling Wingwalkers are returning and the ever-popular Tigers Parachute Team will make daily jumps from 6,000 feet free-falling at an incredible 120mph. There's also the iconic SallyB, Battle of Britain memorial Flight, Twister Duo and The Blades - and this year sees top female pilot Kirsty Murphy join the team as Blade3.

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