Scottish Airshow organisers today revealed they hoped to significantly increase spectator numbers by putting on bigger displays at this year’s events in Ayr and Prestwick Airport.
They have set a target of 95,000 people compared to the 60,000 drawn to the re-launch of the show last year after a 22-year gap.
The 5-6 September spectacular will again feature an aerial display from Low Green in Ayr, with a static display of aircraft at the airport the next day.
Details will be announced next month.
Organisers want to boost attendance at the aerial display by 50 per cent from 50,000 to 75,000, and double numbers at the airport from 10,000 to 20,000.
They said a funding deal with South Ayrshire Council had enabled the expansion.
Bob Alexander Chairman of the Scottish Airshow committee said: “The breakthrough in this agreement with South Ayrshire Council is that we have been guaranteed a level of funding which will allow us to increase the size and quality of the whole event in 2015.
“We have plans to build the trade and industry involvement in the years to come. South Ayrshire Council has been a driving force in bringing back the Scottish Airshow and are also helping us plan a very exciting future. We anticipate an increase of 50% in the number of people coming to Ayr on Saturday 5th September. We have already had very positive discussions with the management of Glasgow Prestwick Airport and they are making plans for an increase of 100% attendance on Sunday 6th September.”
“We have a number of other major agreements at the final stage of negotiation. There are some very big companies who recognise the potential of the Scottish Airshow and are looking to assist us in our plan to make this the biggest outdoor event in Scotland and one of Britain’s best aviation festivals. This is a fantastic time to be at the heart of Scottish aviation.”
Event organiser Danny Anderson said: “The agreement and support of South Ayrshire Council and all our other sponsors will allow us to go ahead and confirm the plans we have for 2015 weekend. We have been working for months to bring the highest class of ground and airborne entertainment to Ayr in September. By next month we expect to have confirmed many of the contracts and we will reveal the 2015 line up. I can already say we will have some very exciting announcements to make.”
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “The Scottish Airshow was a resounding success last year and I am delighted that it is returning this year and that plans are well underway for the 2015 Scottish Airshow.
“The council is working in partnership with the organisers and others supporting the event to ensure that it is expanded and I am particularly pleased that we are looking forward to increased numbers of people attending in 2015.
“Attracting locals and visitors from all over Scotland, the UK and further afield last year so many people had a fun filled day, enjoying the displays and aviation activities in a great family atmosphere and I am sure that will be repeated this year. Events such as this one are good for our local economy, with local businesses enjoying the benefits.”
Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Iain Cochrane said: “Last year’s show was an outstanding success when over 60,000 people were treated to spectacular flying and static displays in perfect weather. “
Last year’s display included a Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The original Scottish International Air Show ran from 1967 to 1992, attracting up to 100,000 spectators.